BRITAIN’S longest-serving butcher will be hanging up her apron and closing the doors for good after more than 60 years.

Pat Jenkins, 85, has been serving the Pokesdown community after joining her father’s family business in 1958.

Mason’s butchers, in Christchurch Road, has become the last standing butchers on the three-mile stretch road, after ten independents have closed over the years.

Bournemouth Echo: Pat with pictures from the past

However, after 66 years the property lease has come to an end and the family business was faced with the decision to sign on for another ten years or close.

“Another ten years would make me 95,” said Pat.

“We would have kept going if it was rolling on each year.”

Pat joined the butchers at 19-years-old when her father, Albert Musselwhite, suggested she helped handle the money.

Bournemouth Echo: Mason's on Christchurch Road in Pokesdown

“I was a shorthand typist for four years, that was what girls did back then.

“I asked my husband at the time what he thought of me joining the business and he thought it was fantastic.”

She added she had “no idea” back then she would still be working today.

Bournemouth Echo:

However, Pat and her son Andrew Jenkins said the butchering trade has changed significantly over the years.

“Back then people had roasts twice a week and ate meat with every meal, it was busy all the time,” said Pat.

“People have gone off meat, it is not in vogue at the moment.”

Despite the family previously fearing changes in lifestyle would affect trade, Mason’s has continued to thrive with loyal customers.

Pat said she will miss working and joked that she would have to find herself a new job to fill her newfound time.

Bournemouth Echo:

Andrew said: “She came in at 19 years old and leaving at 85, I came in at 17 and leaving at 60.”

He added: “It is an end of an era.”

One regular, Harry, said: “They’re the only butcher in town that does it as it should be.

“It is a shame for the community, it brings people to this part of the town.”

Pat’s father ran the business from 1945, until she took it over in 1973 when her father passed away.

Mason’s will close its doors for good on Saturday, March 30.