Many Newport shoppers reacted with dismay to the sad news of the closure of local butchers, E. E. Downer, of 1 St James’ Street, after 84 years of trading. Had yet another traditional, independent butcher fallen by the wayside?

Fortunately, another respected, well-known Island butcher has decided to take over the business and give Newport shoppers the choice to buy their meats from an independent supplier. Founded in 1903, WW Woodford & Son has been serving the village of Bembridge for over 110 years.

Graham Hawkins of Woodford & Son explained his plans to continue the work of the Downers and introduce some new lines of his own into the County Town. He was very keen to emphasise the benefits for consumers of buying their meats at an independent butchers.

Graham said: “We do our best to source all our meats locally, with all our free range pork coming from suppliers in Hampshire. We also get our venison directly from the New Forest.

“All our sausages are handmade in the shop and contain a minimum of 80% pork. We cure our bacon ourselves. Therefore, I know exactly what has been put inside them. If I don’t eat it myself, then I won’t sell it.”

Graham is keen to introduce some new lines into the Newport shop. He said: “we shall continue to sell our original products, but we have also started to sell marinated pork and chicken. A particular favourite with customers is Spanish Harbour Chicken, which has a garlic flavour. As well as this, we can also supply some excellent, traditional game pies for Christmas.”

Graham would very much like to continue the traditions of the Downers at their Newport shop. He said: “I hope Greg Downer has a happy retirement, and I would like to continue his good work. I also wish the best of luck to Steve, his assistant, who has reached retirement age as well.”

Colin Clarke
Author: Colin Clarke