A top Hyndburn trade representative has closed his family-run business in the Market Hall after 86 years.
M and I.K. Smith’s butchers stall has been open at the Accrington Market Hall since 1927 and run by three generations of the same family.
Butcher Ian Smith, 56, has worked at the business for 40 years after it was set up by his grandad Richard West Smithies.
Ian, who is president of Hyndburn Chamber of Trade, said it was a ‘big wrench’ to leave the market but said they could no longer carry on due to dwindling trade. He said: “Trade has dropped off that much that it was just time to go. I will miss all the customers. Some of the older ones have known me since I was a kid and seen me grow up through the business.”
The stall was run on the outdoor market until January 1940 when it moved inside the market building. Mr Smith’s parents Frank and Muriel Smith took over in 1949 after Mr Smithies’ death.
They ran the business together until 1978 when Mr Smith passed away, handing the reins over to his wife and son.
Ian, who also works as a part-time driving instructor, joined the business at the age of 16 but said it was not what he planned to do.
He said: “I wanted to be a car mechanic and did eight days at Lynch’s in Accrington. I got that much grief off my dad that it was easier to join the business.”
Mr Smith, who has three stepchildren with wife Diane, said there have been many memorable moments over the years including the Queen’s visit to the Market Hall last May.
John Healey, owner of Fairbrother’s biscuit stall in the market hall for 20 years, said he will be ‘sadly missed’.