The Corner

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Taking a Butcher’s


I’m writing this from a house in Norwich, the capital city of my home county, Norfolk, which is on England’s east coast. Norwich was once the second richest city in England (OK, it was some time ago…), and can still boast a well-preserved historical district centered on an early-medieval Cathedral and a district rather depressingly known as ‘Tombland’ (the source of the name, some local optimists like to claim, has more to do with the dye trade than burying the dead).

Not all the past has survived, however. One of the sites – and pleasures – of Tombland used to be a traditional butcher’s shop, which has since moved to another part of town. Its produce remains a delight, but I miss the former location’s wonderfully Dickensian exterior. Throughout the years of my childhood the outside of the old store was festooned with rabbit, partridge, pheasant and other specialties of the region, a mouth-watering spectacle of rural largesse that tempted this apprentice carnivore, but may, I suspect, have also have created a vegetarian or two.

Such a display, someone told me, would not be permitted these days. It would not comply with EU ‘health’ regulations. A myth? Perhaps, but also quite believable as Brussels’ war on history, tradition and commonsense carries on apace.


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