Butchers shop in Sutton to close this summer

THE only butcher’s shop in Sutton will be closing its doors for the last time this summer, after nearly 40 years of trading.

Butchers Hills, Harnwell and Rutterford will be making three staff redundant when they close, but their shop in Haddenham is to stay open.

Partner Andy Rutterford explained: “We have made the hard decision to close the Sutton shop for three reasons.

“There has been a turn down in trade, the shop needs a re-fit, and I have decided to take early retirement.”

The business first opened in premises on the corner of The Row 39 years ago, when Sidney Hills and his son-in-law Tony Harnwell went into partnership.

Andy Rutterford joined them soon afterwards, and the business moved to a purpose built property in the High Street about 31 years ago.

Andy, 60, says trade has been dropping off for the last couple of years, “there came a time when we needed to take stock,” he said.

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“The shop needs a complete re-fit, our refrigerated display cabinets are struggling, and need replacing.”

The decision to close on August 27 was a hard one, says Andy. “One member of staff is transferring to the Haddenham shop, but sadly we have to make three people redundant.

“We have always tried to support the village, and our customers are our friends,” he added. “I have known many of our customers all my life.”

As other shops have closed in Sutton, Hills, Harnwell and Rutterford have tried to help villagers by stocking bread and vegetables.

“This is sad all round, but it is a sign of the times” said Andy, “I do not really have plans for my retirement, having worked such long hours, I do not have any hobbies.”

Partner Tony Harnwell will continue running the Haddenham shop with his son Richard and they will trade as Harnwell and Son. “It was a very difficult decision to close the Sutton shop,” said Tony. “But our turnover just did not warrant a re-fit.”