A FAMILY has reopened a popular Burnley butcher’s shop eight weeks after it was closed when its owner was diagnosed with cancer.

Berkins Butchers had been operating in Rosegrove Lane since 1944, but the dynasty came to an end when 51-year-old Stephen Berkins had to retire when his cancer spread to his brain.


But the Allison family, who live in Essex Avenue, have now taken over the running of the shop, led by 44-year-old Graham, who has been in the trade since he left school at 16.

“I did my apprenticeship at Haffners, in Burnley Market and I am a butcher by trade,” he said.

“We have always lived in the Rosegrove area and we know Stephen. It’s a terrible shame that he has had to retire.

“I’ve worked for a few butchers but this is the first business I have run. I’ve got my mum and dad helping me at the moment.

“My dad’s the washing up guy and my mum is the Saturday lass.”

Mum Arlene, 69, was an accountant before she retired, while dad Ian, 72, was a sheet metal worker.

“Graham did an environmental health course at college but he had a bad accident there and suffered a brain injury,” said Arlene.

“He’s picked up a lot of things from butchers he has worked in over the years.

“Stephen used to do a lot of baking and pies, but at the moment we are just getting our feet under the table so it will be a traditional butcher’s for now.

“We’ve been open since Monday and it has gone well so far. There has been a butcher’s shop on this site for as long as people can remember, so we just need people to know it is open again and build up the trade.”