Back in the 20’s when things were happenin’ ,a young farmers son from Culworth met a nice young schoolmarm from Enstone . They fell in love and decided to get married as folks did back then. So Kathleen Elizabeth Harrison became Mrs. Gordon Barford Wrighton and being the entrepreneurial type they decided to skip the boundaries, move into Oxfordshire and set up a business. They first of all rented the premises which are still the home of the shop and opened the butcher’s shop in August 1929. At the time there were various butchers that served the locality and Gordon was warned that there was not enough business in Fritwell to support another butcher “this village ain’t big enough for the seven of us boy!” Unfortunately this fortune teller was correct, however of those seven businesses I believe we are the only survivor. Nature took it’s course and in May 1935 they became the proud parents of a sweet little boy, Douglas James ‘Jim’. How wrong can you be!! That sweet little boy grew up to be a little devil from what I can glean. Imagine hiding in the apple tree ‘cos you don’t want to do your chores. The war came and life in Fritwell was disrupted Gordon did not have to go to war, he spent his war years feeding the folk. The slaughterhouse remained open but was obviously very carefully controlled. Yeah right! Have you seen the film “A Private Function”? Watch it sometime. Jimmy did his schooling, He did quite well in cross country running (nothing to do with the training while trying to avoid those chores) and then it was time for National Service. The R.A.F. drew the short straw and he served his time in the catering corps. Well what was it Churchill said about so much suffering for so little stew. (maybe that is a slight misquote but you get my drift) He’d discovered motor bikes and girls by this time so while Gordon was looking for fast dogs, (he loved his Greyhound racing) Jimmy was looking out for fast women. The biker boys decided to have a holiday at Butlins, so off they went to Wales ( well I don’t know how to spell peely wheely) and that put a stop to his antics cos he met a nice young lady called Beryl from Brum, His chat up line was do you want a ride on my bike, being the cautious sort she asked how old it was and did he own it? Not daft, my mum. Well it was the first of many rides and eventually after standing him up at New Street station, and being made a fool of down here (she didn’t know that cockerels don’t lay eggs!) they did get around to tying the knot. The business was trundling along quite well by this time, the staff levels had increased and many a youngster from the village still wet behind the ears, was doing his formative training under the combined auspices of messrs Wrighton. Poor devils! By this time we were serving meat to the schools and many of the other council establishments in the area, this meant 7 days a week and late nights, I was told of a young man who waited till 10p.m. for an interview with Gordon, who was out on the rounds, I don’t believe the lateness of the hour can have had anything to do with the delivery to the White Horse Inn at Duns Tew. Do you? Life in the village goes on until the bad winter of 62/63 when it’s time for the next bundle of Joy, 3rd January 1963 I made my first appearance. What a lovely little child, and no mistake. Mum was a worker so the two of us would trundle off in the van to take the deliveries, me strapped in the back in my carrycot, perhaps this is why I feel such an affinity with legs of lamb they were my very first playmates. Life was peachy until November 11th 1966 when they told me that I’d got a baby brother. I hadn’t asked for it, it was just foisted upon me. They called him Gordon too. I ask you as if life wasn’t complicated enough for a three year old. Childhood was lovely, that’s why I refuse point blank to leave it, but during my childhood I have seen the business change an awful lot, The post office came here in 1975, we extended the grocery lines when the stores in the village closed. The Pig roaster business has taken off and now we are looking forward to the 21st century and all the business that technology can bring us. So come and see us, for some meat, some groceries or just a laugh.
Well the new millennium arrived and contrary to popular belief Armageddon didn’t happen then, oh yes I know there’s still time.
Gordon and I are still rubbing along and business has been good for us. Family wise not so great…..
As those of you that know us are already aware, this year saw the loss of Dad to cancer, so it would seem that we are the only remaining Wrightons to carry on the tradition, the buck stops here.
Both Gordon and Kate, and Alex and I took the decision to not have children so folks this is it, make the most of what’s left!
Back to business, we have made a few changes recently and I shall summarise for you.
November 2003 Eddie decided to move on to pastures new,
August 2004 We gave up the newsrounds, we decided to concentrate on the things we know more about.
September 2004 Chris Tredwell visited and ended up giving Gordon a hand and has been back from time to time on a Saturday to see old friends and make new ones, we worked out that it is actually 24 years or more since Chris actually worked for us.
October 2004 Phil Robinson decided to join the team, Thanks Phil. He seems to have fitted right in, he has had many years butchery experience, a lot of it working for Richard Cross at Marsh Gibbon. He told me the other day that he remembers working here for a few days back in the 80’s when Richard sent him over to help us out, (has everyone worked here before?) Well it is never too late to repay a good turn so Phil will be going to Marsh for a few days in the new year so that Richard can have a holiday. We hope that Phil will have a long and happy career with us.
We are just so pleased with the response from our lovely customers following the refit in the shop, we think things look a lot better but it is still work in progress.
We are now stocking fresh fish for the weekend, obviously our space is limited so stocks are too but if you need something specific please let us know and we will be happy to get it for you.
We have also started to sell some interesting lines to appeal, we hope, to the discerning foodies amongst you
There are some lovely sauces coming in, Oils and vinegars all of which will compliment the Deli goods that have really taken off. I had no idea there were so many cheeses in the world and I’m always trying to bring in something new for you to try.
We will be having taster days usually Fridays and Saturdays when we will be asking for your views on potential new lines.
We are still looking for a selection of more local produce we hope to bring you locally made dairy products, and we will be talking to local producers regarding organic vegetables.
If you have something to sell that is all your own work come and have a chat to Cath.
The idea of a suggestions box in the shop has been put forward, I think this is a great idea and will be getting it sorted as soon as I can. Please, Please use it, we want to give you the shop that you want and we are trying but we need to know how we can make it better.
Well I think that’s about it for now, I have to go and bake some more cakes.
If you haven’t been to see us yet please do come we love to have the opportunity to make new friends, If you are one of our regular customers, then thank you, we really do appreciate your business.
Why don’t you drop by and get to know us all better?