'Metric martyr' finally stopped

BATTLING butcher Edward Smith has finally lost his battle to keep using old-fashioned pounds and ounces at his South Yorkshire shop.

Mr Smith, aged 64, who runs the family butchers in Thorogate, Rawmarsh, has spent the past three years fighting trading standards over the use of his old Imperial scales.

He has stopped a number of attempts by officials to take away his scales and to force him to use metric weights and measures.

Mr Smith claims 99 per cent of customers still ask for their meat in pounds and ounces and backed his fight.

But trading standards officers who arrived at his shop armed with a warrant from Rotherham Magistrates' Court finally put his scales out of action.

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They have put a lead seal on the side of the equipment which means it will be illegal to use it in future.

Mr Smith is now using a metric scale but said: "I am determined to continue my fight and get this overturned. It is important for British people to be able to do what they want to do without feeling oppressed."

The butcher has even threatened to stand as an MP for weights and measures to bring to people's notice his stance over the metric system. Butchers can display imperial measurements as long as metric markings are more prominent.

A Rotherham Council spokesman said: "We are aware of Mr Smith's standpoint and have been advising him on how to comply with the legislation and the penalties for non-compliance."

Neil Herron, campaign director for the pressure group Metric Martyrs, said: "If this is at the top of Rotherham Council's priorities it is in a sorry state."

And Yorkshire Euro MP Godfrey Bloom, who has been supporting Mr Smith, said: "I think this is appalling. I wonder what sort of country we live in."


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