Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

500 years young: Butchers R J Balson and Son are the UK's longest running family business

Owner Richard Balson at Balson's Butchers, which began trading five centuries ago. Credit: SWNS

The oldest family business in the UK celebrates 500 years of trading this month and has survived war, floods and even plague in its five centuries of operation.

Butchers R J Balson and Sons has been run by the same family in Dorest since September 1515 - when Henry VIII was on the throne.

The original market trading license hangs in the modern premises - which date from the 1880s - as proof of the remarkable longevity of this small butchers in Bridport.

Balson's butchers boasts a trading license dating back to 1515. Credit: SWNS

Over the last 26 generations, the business has overcome the Civil War, two world wars, fires, the Black Death and even modern competition from international supermarket giants.

"Most of the people who come in, we’ve served their parents before them, and their grandparents before that", says Richard Balson the current owner.

ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar reports: