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Capel W.I – July

At our recent July meeting Capel WI enjoyed a talk entitled A Butcher’s Tale of Woe given by Keith Weston, who has a butchers shop in Bookham.

Keith started by telling us how, as a boy of 14, with hair, he took up part time work for a £5 wage in a butcher’s shop. He loved his job from day one and under the tutelage of an ugly, huge boss called George (or was that Sweeney?) he began to learn his trade.

Sadly at 15, his family business as newsagents came to an end and his father moved them away to Somerset dragging a very irate Keith with him. Being resourceful (told you he was Sweeney Todd) he wrote to lots of butchers and landed himself a position, only to be thwarted on his first day by contracting shingles!

Keith related many tales of his life as a butcher and the trials and tribulations he had suffered along the way, yet overcome – from the impact of out of town superstores on local tradesmen like himself, (he especially HATES Tesco) to the Mad Cow Disease fiasco, but being determined to carry on selling meat on the bone in the face of prosecution. How he coped with going metric, wading through all the European red tape and attending meat management courses, the horrific Foot and Mouth disease, and the Petrol Drivers’ Strike ( and still he wouldn’t go to Tesco for petrol) is amazing. But through all these adversities, he found solutions, the latter being that without petrol to visit out of town superstores, the public came to his local butcher’s shop, found the quality and the personal service and …… as they say, the rest is history!

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