A family is hailing “the end of an era” as a butcher is set to retire this weekend after 60 years.

W. D. Chapman, now based in High Road, Woodford Green, has been supplying people with high quality locally-produced meat since the 1890s.

The business, which also makes its own sausages and burgers, is being sold on but the new owners are set to keep the same name and traditional feel to the premises.

The grandson of the original owner, Richard Chapman is the third generation of the family business and started working in the butchers in 1955 as a 15-year-old.

The former Woodbridge High School pupil said: “I have worked here all my life really so it is sad to be leaving, it is the end of an era and I want to thank our customers.

“I have no plans for retirement, I will stay in bed a bit longer as I get up at 4am nowadays, spend more time with the wife, walk the dog and do some fishing.”

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The butchers in the early 20th century. Richard's father and grandfather (both known as David) are pictured.

Turning 75 on Sunday, Richard remembers a very different 1950s Woodford Green to today.

“I was no good at school so I went straight into the family business,” he said.

“There used to be four butchers in this parade of shops and Woodford Green was a completely different place.

“It used to be a lot quieter, it is so busy with traffic now, people could actually find somewhere to park and I remember cattle just used to wander past the shop from the forest.

“The business has completely changed too, we used to buy animals alive from the market and I remember my father patting them to test for how much fat they had.

“Now we use a wholesaler but we do buy whole pigs and lambs to be sure of the quality.”

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(From left) Siblings Richard Chapman, who is retiring, and Susan Hall and Peter Chapman who will continue working under the new owners in a transitional period.

Despite being sold on to new owners, siblings Sue Hall and Peter Chapman will stay working at the shop for the transitional period.

Now the only butchers across Woodford, Richard attributes the decline to the rise in supermarkets and online shopping.

He said: “There is no doubt they have had an effect on small businesses from newsagents, florists, chemists and butchers.

“But the last ten years supermarkets have had a bad press and many people have come back to their locals.

“For example after the horse meat scandal we saw a noticeable rise in business.

“People know what they are getting here and we can tell them exactly where the meat came from and what is in the meat.

“There is definitely demand for a butchers in Woodford Green and hopefully the new owners can be a success.”