To horse, to horse!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the tradition of eating horse meat in this country. I knew that Yorkshire had been the last outpost of this particular delicacy. However, I had always thought the trade had died out in the 1930s, and the precise location of Yorkshire’s last horse butcher had remained a mystery.  That was, until this letter arrived

‘Matthew Fort suggests in his article ‘The Mane Course’ that that there was
a Yorkshire butcher specialising in horse meat as late as the mid-1930’s.
In fact my grandfather, Arnold Drury was a master butcher and sold ‘’Viande
Cheval or ‘Super Quality Horseflesh’ in his shop on Silver Street Doncaster
from 1941 until his death in 1951 . The shop continued to trade until 1955.
Horse meat was not rationed during the war although a butcher required a
licence to sell it. The meat had to bear the stamp ‘fit for human
consumption’, could not be sold on the bone and all cuts retailed at the
same price per pound.

My Grandfather took great pride in the way he presented his shop front. He
always butchered the meat as if it were beef and regularly had to refuse
emergency ration coupons when people mistook the horse meat on sale for
beef.

My mother talks of long queues at the shop on a Friday when the rendered
horse meat fat was sold off in honey like form to be used in cakes and
pastries.

The attached picture of his shop front taken in 1950/51 reflects the pride
my Grandfather took in his specialist trade and advertises his newly
purchased Frigidaire Freezer as he moved forward with the times.
My mother Beryl Hogg nee Drury gives her permission for this photograph to
be printed.

Margaret Miles’

I’m deeply grateful to Margaret for clearing up one of life’s enduring puzzles.

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About Matt

Food writer, television presenter and big eater.
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