12 thoughts on “Clarkes Butchers, Hope Street

  1. I was wondering if you can help – how I could access a copy of Clarkes and butchers photo?
    I’ve owned the shop over 17 years now and love to look back at the history of this much loved butchers still following traditions and put a picture on our website.
    Many thanks Heidi


  2. I am from Manchester and worked for Press Construction Ltd as a Pipeline Welder on the then American based Enron Pipeline that run from Seal-Sands into Wilton ICI Chemical works on Teesside some 25 plus years ago and was assigned to work from the Main offices, Stores and Yard which was situated just a few hundred yards on the opposite side of the road from Clarkes Family Butchers at Haverton Hill and I have never forgotten how their freshly made to order Prawn Salad Sandwiches were the biggest, tastiest Butties on planet earth and I can also still remember how friendly the Staff were and always seemed to put their customers first.
    …..My Daughter & her Partner were up on Teesside a few weeks ago visiting friends in Billingham and Seaton-Carew and on their way back to the A19 called into the very Butchers to purchase a couple of Pork pies and Steak Bakes and both commented on how much they enjoyed the pies and when they explained where they had bought them from my whole life flashed back to all those years ago and I wished they had of told me beforehand as they could have brought me a box full of those delicious Prawn Salad Sandwiches back home with them…..A brilliant, well run Family Butchers.


  3. Great to see Clarks the Butchers in Haverton Hill getting a feature. They were/are an outstanding family business. I was more familiar with John Clarke, one of the sons. I believe he had a brother called Richard, but can’t be sure. Anyway, John used to deliver meat to my Auntie Doreen who lived up on Queens Drive in Billingham. My Auntie Doreen introduced the Clarke’s butchering services to my mother and their excellent service expanded, at least by one family anyway. John is an outstanding example of Christian living. When my parents got senior in age he faithfully continued to call by every Friday with some decent cuts of meat and whatever else was “on special” all at pensioner prices. His was not a fleeting visit with an exclusively commercial objective. He would stay for twenty to thirty minutes to talk and be kept current on what was happening in their lives. Whilst my parents have since passed away, and he doubtless now retired, he still calls by to see my now widowed Auntie Doreen. Yes, long may the likes of Clarks Butchers endure to offer a service far beyond that which any supermarket can offer.

    I’ve now been living in Staffordshire for over twenty-five years. One of the things I miss is pease pudding. You can’t get it down here, though there are some other excellent local products such as “Staffordshire Black”. This is excellent back bacon marinated in molasses and other secret ingredients. Fabulous fried with some locally produced sausage, a couple of fried eggs, mushrooms, tomato and fried bread etc. Naturally, one can only get Staffordshire Black from our local family butcher (C Robinson and Sons) here in Burntwood.

    I used to love having freshly baked buns with some nice dry-cured ham and pease pudding. Yummy!


    • Thank you, Geoffrey: indeed you have jogged my memory. The Clarke I knew was indeed Richard, or Ritchie as it rings in memory; a long, thin streak of a kid (as we all were at that age) with carrot-red hair and freckles and a booming voice, plus a personality to match.
      As for pease pud: like any Northeastern dish, it’s easy to make, and above all, cheap. Anything made to feed big families of miners a century ago, had to be (Mum’s family was 10 kids: 8 girls and 2 boys. Imagine the noise level in a 2-up, 2-down terrace house, with an outside lav. in Gateshead. Grandpa died at 45 from black lung, otherwise who knows where the reproductive deluge would have stopped. Dad’s family was 8, with the gender proportions reversed.)

      Soak 1/2 lb (225g) yellow split peas, overnight in plenty of water. Discard water and rinse.
      Put in a pan with 1.5 pints (750ml) water and a ham hock or shank.
      You might also add a vegetable Oxo cube or a splash of Worcester sauce to gild the lily. Boil it up, and skim off the scum from the surface. Simmer gently for 1 1/2-2 hours. Add water if needed. The peas should be squashable with a spoon against the side of the pan when done.
      Mash vigorously with a fork until you have a smooth, runny paste (the odd lump isn’t a problem and it thickens while cooling.) Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to a basin and cover with a cloth. Leave to cool. Serve spread on bread and butter; top with the meat from the ham shank. That’s how to taste the Northeast in Staffordshire (or in Colorado, where I live.)


  4. Bruce: thanks for this. I was never in the shop, but I remember seeing the delivery van all over B’ham in the day. (The classic Morris Minor panel van with the legend: “R. Clarke – High Class Butcher.”) There was a son in the family who was a contemporary of mine… I can’t remember his first name, and we were either at school together or in Scouts together. I take it from the sign that he joined the family enterprise.


    • It’s a small world…. I now work in Stokesley and their van was at our front door yesterday selling lots of goodies for lunch! I wouldn’t have connected it to this shop if it wasn’t for this post.


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