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Wolverhampton butcher that dates back to 1892 hailed with award

A family-run butchers in Wolverhampton that has been passed down through six generations has been hailed with an award.

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Butchers Anthony Holt, Thomas Buxton and John Whitten celebrating the award

Essington Farm, on Bognop Road, was branded Butcher's Shop of the Year for the Midlands and East of England following an awards ceremony in Birmingham on Monday.

In order to secure first place, the business was measured against a number of different criteria including meat quality and animal welfare, and even had a visit from a "mystery shopper" who judged their customer service.

Owner Richard Simkin said: "We won the award because of our commitment to the quality food produce, low food miles, customer service, animal welfare and also sustainability, producing our meat in an environmentally friendly manner.

"We're very proud and highly delighted for our dedicated team of butchers who put such a lot of work into the quality of the meat and the quality of the service – it's a tribute to their commitment.

"The customers have a personal service, they can speak to highly experienced butchers that will advise on what to buy, how to cook it and how to make the best of it – it's good old-fashioned service that you used to get."

Currently in its sixth-generation, the business was first opened by Richard's great-grandfather, William Simkin, in 1892, when it operated as a dairy and livestock farm, delivering the milk produced on site around the village of Essington.

The baton has since been passed to Richard, who runs the company with the help of his wife, Mary, his son, Will, and his daughter-in-law, Penny.

The 72-year-old added: "When you've been brought up on the farm you start helping when you are still in single figures. You're always helping a bit and gradually you find yourself taking a more active role.

"We're proud really of all the achievement that everybody has put in, it's been very much a team effort and we couldn't have done it without the commitment and dedication of all of the members of staff that have helped us."