A POPLAR Netherton butcher has been thanked by the local MP for 41 years of reliable service to the community.

After serving the people of Netherton for 41 years, 66-year-old Garry Flavell has decided to take a well-earned retirement and pass on his traditional butcher’s shop G.Flavell Butchers Ltd in Cradley Road to the next generation.

Garry first began to make retirement plans in 2019 but struggled to find a buyer for his business which is believed to have operated as a butcher’s shop since just after World War I.

An investor, however, saw the opportunity to take on the property with the aim of securing the shop as a traditional community butcher’s shop for years to come and the business will now be run by local man Corey Higgins, who has worked in the meat industry all his life.

To give Garry a fitting send-off, however, Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South, joined locals to recognise the butcher's long service to the community and present him with a Dudley South Community Hero award before his retirement set in.

Mike said: “Garry has given 41 years of service to this community, and people rightly want to thank him for it.

“There are two institutions that really make our local towns special – a good butchers and a good pub. And it’s so great that Garry’s legacy of reliable service to the people of Netherton is going to carry on with Corey taking the reins.”

On learning the new owner of the property planned to keep the shop as a traditional butcher, Garry spoke of his relief that his regular and loyal customers wouldn’t be let down.

Garry said: “I worked with Corey for three weeks before handing over the keys and I'm so glad I did because I can retire happy knowing I’ve left the business and my absolutely brilliant customers in good hands.

“My customers have been so good to me over the years and I really want to thank every single one of them for being so loyal."

Corey added: “Garry is a fantastic bloke and has built up such a loyal customer base. It’s a privilege to take over from such a well-thought of butcher and such a top bloke.”