Butcher Ron to hang up his hat after 64 years
- Credit: Daniel Mason
A butcher hopes he has “done the best I could” for his local community as he prepares to retire after 64 years in the trade.
Ron German will hang up his butcher’s coat when he marks his 80th birthday on October 22 having worked in March since he was 16-years-old.
“To me, being a butcher was just a job I wanted to do the best I could,” he said.
Ron was 16 when he took on his first job at a butcher's shop run by Henry Whittet, known as ‘Harry’, on March High Street in 1957.
“When I left school, I wanted an office job, but there weren’t a lot of these about,” Ron said.
“I wrote to several people, including Mr Whittet.
“My grandparents used to go to Mr Whittet’s, they came home one day and said he wants somebody to work there.”
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Ron, of March, continued working for Mr Whittet until the early 1970s and when the shop was run by Jim Hyde as it was taken over by A L Mitchell Ltd.
Although he did not want to head straight into the butcher’s trade after studying at March Grammar School, it was something that interested Ron.
“I had no intention of going into the butchers’ trade,” he said.
“It fascinated me, cutting meat up. While I was at school, one of my best subjects was biology which was about joints, bones etc. and I enjoyed doing that.”
As well as building a healthy relationship with customers, there is one thing that has resonated with Ron after he made a mistake while working under Mr Whittet.
“I went and told him that I did something wrong and he said ‘don’t worry, the man that has not made a mistake has not been born yet’,” said Ron.
“That’s stuck with me ever since.”
After moving to March Quality Meats, Ron will end a 19-year tenure under manager Dave Lyons who took over in October 2002.
But having still worked “about four days a week” despite being diagnosed with angina, the keen gardener feels he has adapted well to change.
“When I turned 65, I said all being well, I would carry on till I was 80,” Ron added.
“I do like gardening and I grow different vegetables like tomatoes.
“It was nice to do something for somebody and they thank you for it, and I hope I did my best.”