“I don’t know what I would do without this lot, every Tuesday breakfast is there and waiting! And during the summer, it’s the only place to shop for the BBQ! Perfect every time.”
We are Exmouth’s longest established traditional butchers and have been providing quality meat and other local produce since 1900.
Butchers Shops in 1900
Most shops in 1900 had open fronts. Marble slabs were placed in the display windows; these were washed at the end of every day and wiped clean before the display was put out every morning.
The floors were covered in sawdust and salt was generally used for cleaning. Since refrigerators had not yet been invented, meat was kept cool by buying ice.
Meat was handled in a more robust way at retail and wholesale levels. Most people would now be horrified at the level of hygiene, but the view was that all meat would be washed and cooked thoroughly, so the risk of contamination was small.
The war years
World War I severely affected the meat trade and rationing was introduced in 1918. Staff shortages were also a problem since many men were called up.
Rationing was introduced once again during World War II. The Government took control of the nation’s slaughter houses in 1939 and many were closed down. The “meat allocation” was a difficult job and John Down, the business founder was involved in local distribution. The Saturday morning queue for meat stretched down the street and around the corner (much like Christmas queues today!). It was not till 1954 that the slaughter house laws were lifted and many began to re-open.
To find us in Exmouth, head for the Magnolia centre, and look out for’Mr Trotter’ – he’s a popular landmark loved by the local residents and holiday makers.