OPEN ALL HOURS: 86-year-old Derbyshire butcher still working full-time

Meet Frank Fisher.

He’s going to be 87-years-old later this year and he’s still going strong - running his own business.

The likeable and friendly personality works full-time in Fisher & Son family butchers on High Street in Dronfield.

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The butchers was established in 1702, and it has been run by the Fisher family for about 165 years.

Frank’s great-grandfather Jim took it over in 1852 before retiring in 1900.

Frank’s grandfather William then took charge and he ran it until 1955 and it was then passed down to Frank and his dad Percy in 1956.

“I have not had a day off since really,” Frank said.

“Apart from going away on the odd golf holiday once in a blue moon.”

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Frank was born in 1930 and lived at Shirecliffe Farm, Hilltop, Dronfield.

He lived on the farm with his mum Florence, dad Percy and his older brother Bill.

“In 1938 we left the farm and my mum took over a beer shop in Hanover Street in Sheffield.

“She then left that in 1942 and went to run a convenience shop on Hodgson Street,” he said.

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Frank Fisher Dronfield butcherFrank Fisher Dronfield butcher
Frank Fisher Dronfield butcher

Frank’s mum was born in Clay Cross and came from a family of 15.

“She left school at 11 and went to work on a farm,” Frank explained.

“She was very good at business.”

Frank’s dad Percy was born in Dronfield and went in the Army when he was a teenager.

Frank's family in the 1900sFrank's family in the 1900s
Frank's family in the 1900s

“He went in the Army at 16 or 17-years-old in the First World War,” Frank said.

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“My grandfather William was not very happy about that because he was useful in the shop and was another pair of hands.

“When he came out the Army my grandfather re-employed him and he went back in the business.”

Frank’s brother Bill, who was three years older than him, worked as a dentist after studying in Sheffield.

Bill was survived by his two sons - Mark, who works in international finance and Adam, who is an engineer.

“Me and Bill got on well together,” Frank said.

Frank's parents second and fourth from the leftFrank's parents second and fourth from the left
Frank's parents second and fourth from the left

During my visit an old fashioned till catches my attention.

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“Have you ever watched Open All Hours?,” he asked me. “You’re probably too young” (I have).

“It is exactly the same one and it still works.”

Frank left school when he was 14, as was the norm back then and his first job was a butchers firm called Daniels in Sheffield.

“They had three or four shops but I normally worked at the Hunter’s Bar shop until we took over this shop in 1956,” he told the Derbyshire Times.

Away from work, Frank’s interests include golf, playing draughts and card game bridge.

“I was a decent draughts player,” he said.

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“I got to a final when I was 14. Through my mum and brother I started playing bridge.

“I think I was the oldest player at Sheffield Bridge Club until I had to stop.

“I think I am the oldest member of Beauchief Golf Club in Sheffield as well.”

Over the years Frank has also had a couple of chance meetings with some well-known faces.

“I have met Picasso,” he said.

“I saw him on the steps of Sheffield City Hall.

“It was cold and wet in 1948.

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“I recognised him because he was involved in the World Peace Community.

“I went across to him and said ‘hello’ and asked if he liked Sheffield.

“He said a few words but not much.

“I was only 17 or 18.”

Actor Sir Michael Caine is another household name Frank slips into our conversation.

Frank explained: “He used to come in here in about the 1970s after making the Italian Job.

“He would come in and collect his joint of meat.”

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He added: “He had been in three or four times before I knew who he was.

“It was only when two girls came across from the bakers with autograph books that I realised he was famous.”

Frank never married and he does not have children.

When I ask what will happen to the shop, he replied: “I am not sure what will happen.

“I think I have done well to stay open for this long.

“It is a struggle - it is no use pretending anything else.

“A lot of my customers are older and when they disappear I do not get the young customers.

“We get through put it that way.”

Before I leave I ask Frank if he still enjoys his job, pausing for a moment, he said: “I must do otherwise I would not do it.

“I have done it that long it is a habit now.”

Open All Hours, indeed.