My grandfather worked in the meat trade at Smithfield, he owned a refrigerated haulage business G C Griston based in Peckham from where he supplied the butchers of South London. We always ate good meat in our family. Eventually the supermarkets and processed meat killed off his customers and the business closed.
|My Grandfather Leonard George Griston (centre)|
I’ve always liked butcher’s shops and fortunately when Marta and I arrived in Bristol the only proper shop within walking distance of our house was R. Gingell, Family Butcher in Nag’s Head Hill, St George.
The place looks like it’s been there for ages (always a good sign) and indeed it has. Practically all of their beef comes from Bakers a 5th generation family owned abattoir in Nailsea that operates a “Somerset only” supply chain. Our meat has the kind of provenance that ultimately you can taste and we’re delighted to support both R. Gingell and Bakers.
I don’t know how old Rich Gingell is and I’m far to polite to ask. However he looks like retirement could be an option within a few short years. He took over the business from his father but sadly it doesn’t appear that the business will be passed onto a 3rd generation.
The story of how the business came to him is an interesting one. Before the war Rich’s grandmother always bought her meat from a butcher’s shop on the same premises. Nothing particularly unusual in that except that she would travel by train from Shirehampton to Lawrence Hill and then walk or bus up the hill there and back, a distance of about 16 miles, to do so.
Rich’s father would accompany her as a child and as he grew up he started working there as a Saturday boy. When he finished his national service the old butcher who owned the premises asked him if he’d like to take over the business, which he did. Quite soon he decided to demolish a wall to open up the premises but he forgot to ask his landlord for permission. The final outcome was that Rich’s father borrowed some money from the bank and purchased the freehold from his former employer.
Rich is an old fashioned butcher who still buys whole sides of beef etc. Consequently he can prepare it just the way we need it with plenty of fat to help preserve the moisture content and enhance the flavour.
You can’t beat a proper butcher!