Butchers to go back in time for its centenary

Doug Nicholson with his daughter Kathryn who are preparing to celebrate 100 years of Nicholson's Butchers in Whitley Bay. GM039
Doug Nicholson with his daughter Kathryn who are preparing to celebrate 100 years of Nicholson's Butchers in Whitley Bay. GM039

An award winning butchers is preparing for a week of events to mark a special anniversary.

Nicholson’s Butchers, in Whitley Bay, is staging a week of celebrations to mark its centenary year.

The Park View shop will be celebrating between Monday, May 12, and Saturday, May 17 – the actual day 100 years on since the doors first opened.

Throughout the week, staff will turn back the clock and don old-fashioned butchers’ uniforms – white shirts and black aprons with bowler hats.

The shop will also be selling Northumbrian rabbits at just 16p each, the price they were 100 years ago, while customers who pick an old-fashioned style raffle ticket from a pot on the counter could also pay for their shopping at 1914 prices.

Owner Doug Nicholson will be touring Whitley Bay on a traditional horse and trap supplied by John Greenwood, of New Hartley, on the Friday and Saturday handing out special vouchers.

The centenary week concludes on the Saturday with a barbecue outside the shop, when free beefburger and sausage sandwiches will be handed out between 11am and 2pm.

Nicholson’s Butchers was established in May 1914, in the same premises it still occupies.

The shop was opened by Charles Nicholson, who was followed by his son, also named Charles – now 89 and only recently retired – then his son Doug, a former deep sea engineer in the Merchant Navy.

Mr Nicholson has now been joined by his daughter Kathryn, the fourth generation of the family to become involved in the business.

Another family member who has taken an active role is Doug’s nephew Mark Strasser, who started out washing the dishes.

He produced the traditional pork sausage that was chosen as north east regional champion and national runner-up in the 2014 Butchers Q Guild annual BBQ competition. The shop’s minted lamb steaks were also chosen as national runner-up in the speciality barbecue product category.

Mr Nicholson said: “This is a landmark year for us and we wanted to celebrate it in style and do something special for our legions of regular customers from Whitley Bay, Tynemouth and beyond, who have been coming to the shop for countless years.

“Many of them have become personal friends, while others have arrived via word of recommendation.

“More often than not, they too become regulars.”

Nicholson’s also has its own in-house bakery.

Speaking on the success at the BBQ competition, Mr Nicholson said: “We were over the moon when three of our entries won through to the grand final.

“We were up against some of the nation’s top butchers, so to be chosen as national runner-up in two categories is a major achievement and true testament to both the quality and taste of our products.”