League of Gentlemen butchers closes after 100 years

Outside shot of J W Mettrick & Son butchers' shop
Image caption The butchers has won awards for its pies, sausages and other 'special stuff'

It has been a local shop for generations of local people, but a butchers based in the town used by a legendary TV comedy is closing.

J W Mettrick & Son has been a fixture in Hadfield - the town that doubled up as Royston Vasey in The League of Gentlemen - for more than 100 years.

It has won many awards for its pies, sausages and other "special stuff".

Owner John Mettrick said customers struggling to access the shop was one of the reasons for closing.

"It's been a very, very tough decision, one we've agonised over for at least a couple of years," he said.

"We're just finding the village is becoming more and more residential on the main street, and we don't have any controlled parking outside the shop, so basically people can park there and leave their cars there all day while they're going to Manchester on the train.

"Customers just can't get to us - the footfall's been coming down, and obviously overheads only go one way, and that's up."

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Media captionMeeting the League of Gentlemen 'locals' in Hadfield

Five generations of Mettricks have worked at the butchers, which is still situated on its original site.

Famous in its own right for its produce, the store gained further renown as the setting in the BBC comedy for notorious butcher Hillary Briss, whose addictive and highly immoral "special stuff" was a highly-prized delicacy.

Mr Mettrick said the show - which originally ran for three TV series and returned on its 20th anniversary in 2017 - did give the shop "some notoriety" but brought some positive attention to the village.

"We did have visitors from all over the place who would pose at the front of the shop and ask to have their noses Sellotaped up so they could appear as some of the characters," he said.

"I would prefer that shop to be known as the shop as part of a firm that won Britain's best butchers, rather than a one-off TV series."

Image caption Mark Gatiss played sinister butcher Hilary Briss

Loyal customers will still be able to go to its sister store in neighbouring Glossop but Mr Mettrick said it would feel "very emotional" when the Hadfield branch closes on Saturday.

"I think one of the things that's really touched us is the comments from the customers who've shopped there for generations," he said.

"Some of them have moved away from Hadfield and live in other parts of the world, they've sent messages on social media.

"It's like the end of an era in Hadfield."

Image caption The League of Gentlemen ran for three TV series and was made into a film and a stage show

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