BUTCHER Bruce Edge is the third generation of his family to run the business which opened exactly 75 years ago.
Bruce is proud his grandfather’s name Ernest W Edge, who founded the Handbridge firm in 1937, is still recognised in the sign above the window.
And Bruce, whose father John only retired from the shop in 2005, continues to follow their vision of a butcher’s shop selling the finest quality locally-sourced produce at the best price.
Bruce, who loves the interaction with the public, said: “I would like to thank our customers past and present for their loyalty and support over the last 75 years.”
One 80-year-old customer from Handbridge even remembers visiting the shop on its first day of trading at the tender age of five – he and his family have supported the business ever since.
And Bruce, who lives in Marford with wife Jessica and their young sons Matthew, two, and three-month old Alex, said: “If they wanted to go into butchering they would have my full support and could take us to our century, but it would always be their choice.”
Founder Ernest Wilson Edge had been a butcher from the age of 14, riding around the lanes of Broxton and Brown Knowl in a horse drawn cart, when in 1935, with ten years’ experience, he took full time employment at Mr Potter’s butcher’s shop at 54 Handbridge. Just two years later, in 1937, he borrowed £100 to buy the bankrupt business of his employer to go it alone.
The charismatic Ernie became a well known local within Handbridge, catching the eye of Florence, the girl who lived next door to his shop.
On 1st January 1940 Ernie married Florrie and within a year they had a son, John. Ernie was called up six weeks later to fight for his country and wouldn’t return until 1947.
During those seven years Ernest W Edge Butchers continued to trade, run by Florrie who not only kept the business going, but made it stronger.
In 1955 aged just 15, Ernest and Florrie’s son John joined the business. And the following year Florrie’s old home at 56 Handbridge was incorporated into the shop.
John’s son Bruce joined the family firm in 1993 and for a short while three generations of the Edge family worked behind the counter.