Gregory’s Butchers beefs up landmark 50th anniversary
D Gregory & Sons Butchers in Bacup is beefing up its milestone 50th anniversary this month by selling meat from top prize-winning prime cattle, one a supreme champion.
Founder Derek Gregory was at the ringside at Skipton Auction Mart’s March prime cattle show and sale to claim a double coup when paying close on £2,750 for both the title winner and the reserve champion.
He went to £1,338 to secure the overall victor, a 19-month-old British Blue-cross heifer from Jim and Christine Scrivin, of Elslack, near Skipton, also paying £1,393 for the second prize heifer and overall reserve champion, a Limousin-cross from R&H Critchley, of Hutton, Preston.
Both frontrunners were snapped up purposely to mark D Gregory & Sons’ 50th anniversary, which falls this month, also the 21st anniversary in its current shop at 21, St James Street, Bacup, an area currently being transformed through the £2m Lottery-funded Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) project.
The business was originally established in Burnley Road, Bacup, by Mr Gregory, who has worked as a butcher both man and boy, starting off as a Saturday boy at a butcher’s shop in Stackstead. He then moved to Bacup to work full-time at Ralph Tattersall Family Butchers, before himself taking over the business as a 24-year-old half a century ago.
D Gregory & Sons remains a traditional family-run butcher. While now 74 years young, Mr Gregory Snr continues to maintain a hands-on role, as does his wife Ann, who is pie maker in chief.
In fact, the shop is renowned for its pies, having won the speciality pie competition staged alongside Skipton Auction Mart’s high profile Christmas fatstock shows for the past two years.
The couple’s son, Philip, has been involved in the business since leaving school and now manages the shop, assisted by his own wife Tracy. Another son, Garry, as well as working in the shop, also runs the family farm in nearby Weir, raising both Texel and Beltex-cross prime lambs and Limousin-cross prime cattle for sale in the shop, the latter supplemented when required by other cattle sourced through Skipton Auction Mart.
“I went over to Skipton and made an extra special effort to claim the best two show cattle on the day,” explained Mr Gregory. “We see it as an ideal and novel way of rewarding our customers for their loyalty over so many years.
“The meat from the cattle will be fully matured to maximise both taste and texture and it will go on sale from the end of March in all the popular traditional cuts, including beef roasts and steaks. What’s more, we will be selling it all at our normal shop prices.”
As part of its 50th celebrations, D Gregory & Sons is also running a weekly draw up to the end of March for customers, with a £50 meat voucher up for grabs. The first winner has already been chosen, local sheep farmer Andrew Barker, of Todmorden.
Mr Gregory added: “It’s hard to believe that there used to be no less than 13 butchers’ shops in Bacup, plus three mobile butchers. We are now the last remaining town centre retail shop and this landmark anniversary means such a lot to us.
“We are celebrating in style at what is an important time for the town and trade of Bacup. We have a brand-new shop frontage as part of the heritage project, which is set to transform the face of the town.”