MORE than 100 years of tradition will come to an end when a family business closes in Hartlepool this weekend.
Four generations of the Davison family have run the butcher’s business since 1890.
But now, a mix of ill health and the end of an era has meant the 125-year trade will come to an end soon.
Husband and wife team Michael, 47, and Caroline Davison, 55, have run the latest family shop at the Fens precinct for 12 years.
Before that, they had the business when it was based in Owton Manor Lane and the Brus Corner.
Michael is the fourth generation of Davison to run the shop. It was George Davison, who originated from Hutton Henry, who started it all with a premises on the Central Estate when he went into a partnership with three other entrepreneurs.
But then, James Horsley Davison and Michael’s dad Brian Davison continued the trade before Michael stepped in.
Michael and Caroline both have ill health. Caroline needs an operation for long-running problems while Michael has medical issues including damaged vertebrae.
They have one daughter who is planning on a career in the care industry.
Michael said: “We have tried for five years to keep it going but we have got to say enough is enough.”
The couple have received a string of cards from customers, asking them not to go.
Caroline said: “It is sad because it has gone from generation to generation. We don’t want to finish but we have to because we have both got ill health.
“We were expecting to be here until we retired. A lot of the customers are like our friends and it reminds me of what a butcher’s shop used to be like. It is a dying art and it hurts me that there are not many traditional butchers left.”
The couple live near Stockton but have praised the people of Hartlepool for their friendship and support. “It is such a lovely atmosphere,” said Caroline.
Good luck cards adorn the walls of the shop which was still taking orders from as far away as Holland this week.
The cards carry messages such as “thanks for being my butcher for all these years” and “we will miss you.” But 125 years of tradition will come to a close when the shop finishes trading on Saturday.