Butchers Boy by Bill Walker

Bill worked for Charlie Brock, a Butcher in Ilchester, Somerset. He started to work there in 1939 at the age of 14. He wanted to be a butcher when he left school. His parents had to go and see the butcher and he gave them a choice. Bill could earn 7 /- 6d. while training i.e. with indentures or 10 /- 6d. without indentures (training).

One of his job’s was to delivers sheep’s brains to pregnant women. It was delivered in a wicker basket. The meat wrapped in greaseproof paper and stuck on the top with some blood. One snowy day he went up the hill with the deliveries with his butcher’s boy bike but unfortunately he fell over. All the deliveries fell out into the deep snow.  Eventually he matched the meat with each bill but couldn’t find the brain in the snow because it was white. He carried on his route and got to the house where he should have delivered the brain. The dog came to the back door. Quickly he put the ticket and some snow and ice on the stairs inside. Later on he was asked, “Did you deliver that brain to Mrs Banfield?”. The customer was told yes it had been delivered so she thought the dog had eaten it.

Charlie Brock, the butcher was a one-man business and Bill learnt how to do everything related to the butcher trade. Charlie kept sheep and steers as it was a country area and he had the land. He butchered his own animals. Bill remembers that the butcher was kind to his animals. Near to Christmas with about six weeks to go they would go to the local market to buy animals which could be fattened up for Christmas. They didn’t buy any turkeys.

Before the war they only sold mutton and sometimes New Zealand lamb. Each they made dripping by using a mutton cloth tied with string. All the beef fat scrap was thrown into a laundry pan- labelled it and put it in the muslim. Then it was put into pots for selling. There could be pork dripping too.  They also made pork sausages with no bread in them. They added used biscuit meal to the pork.

Memory contributed by Bill Wallker from Lossiemouth

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