Beeches of Walkley: Much loved butcher's counter closes after decades in city suburb

A much loved butchers counter which has traded in Sheffield for years closes today.
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There are a number of reasons for the closure, including health issues and rising overheads, but owner Chris Beech says Sheffield City Council’s controversial ‘active travel zone’ in Crookes and Walkley, which involves roads being blocked off to create a safer, cleaner and quieter environment for residents and local businesses, has played a huge part.

Chris, 52 who opened his bucher’s shop on South Road, Walkley, 14 years ago, is moving to smaller premises in Ranmoor, where his shop will be called Chris Beech Quality Meats Ranmoor.

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He started his career as a ‘Saturday boy' 37 years ago working for Carney’s butchers in Walkley before working as a butcher full time for David Marshall Family Butchers.

Sheffield butcher Chris Beech and his wife Donna are moving their business from Walkley to RanmoorSheffield butcher Chris Beech and his wife Donna are moving their business from Walkley to Ranmoor
Sheffield butcher Chris Beech and his wife Donna are moving their business from Walkley to Ranmoor

When the Marshalls retired, David took over their shop and gradually over the years expanded and turned his business into an inner-city farm shop, with a deli, greengrocers and post office – as well as the butcher’s counter.

He has sold up to a couple who already run a successful deli and onion bhaji business, who will take over the running of the shop after the butcher’s counter closes at 3pm today.

Chris, who ran the business with his wife Donna, said it was 'a day of mixed emotions'.

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“We will be moving our butchers to our shop Chris Beech Quality Meats Ranmoor, a little bit smaller than you are used to, but historically one of the oldest butchers shop in Sheffield,” he said.

“The rest of our shop, Beeches of Walkley, has been saved by a lovely couple Dula and Saf, who have signed a new lease with the landlord. We have gifted and donated our business and goodwill over to them without charge to save the Post Office and all the jobs.

“Please, please support them and the shop or you could lose our community Post Office, which I have worked so hard to bring back to Walkley.”

He added: “We would like to thank all our loyal customers and hope that some will follow us to Ranmoor.

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"We love Walkley, we live in Walkley, we decided the shop could not just close and be turned into apartments which would jeopardise and kill our community, the local shops and businesses that we have worked so hard to better for the community over the last 14 years.

“We hope you appreciate we have done all we can for Walkley, but both of us need to consider our health.”

He said a delivery service will be available for customers unable to travel to Ranmoor. Items will be delivered to Beeches of Walkley, where he hopes his customers will continue to shop to support the new owners.

In a parting shot aimed at Sheffield City Council, who brought in the active travel zone, Chris said: “Thank you Sheffield City Council. You may quote that this is just a trial and experimental traffic order, and the need to see it through to the end, but already you have ended another independent local business.”

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Customers have expressed their disappointment at the closure.

Jane Lumb said: “Beeches has been a wonderful part of the community.”

Charlotte Miller added: “Your shop, butcher’s counter and community drive have been a gift for Walkley.”

Linda Stringer said: “End of an era.”