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Brentwood Museum serving up ‘an incredible slice of the past’

RECIPES for sausages, pork pies and all manner of meaty products thought up by a Brentwood butcher 100 years ago will be displayed to the public for the first time.

Axon’s Butchers was opened in the early 1900s at number 8 High Street by the young Horace Axon.

Now, his granddaughter has donated a handwritten recipe book to the Brentwood Museum, on Lorne Road, to preserve her family’s legacy.

Angela Kilmartin made the donation alongside historic pictures and documents relating to the once-popular butchers.

Mrs Kilmartin said: “All the documents have lain carefully in drawers during my lifetime and now, still being in excellent condition, it is time to hand them over for posterity.

“I love the gold-embossed, named and addressed cover of the recipe book with the bull on it.

“And to think that my grandfather’s DNA must still be in that book, with his handwriting on every page from a hundred years ago.

“It makes me sad, but also very proud of his achievement there and usefulness to the community. It’s a connection to our town’s past.”

The 72-year-old, who was educated at the Ursuline Convent, Brentwood, continued: “Grandfather Horace and his men used to slaughter all his animals at the back of the shop after they were bought in Romford market and walked the six miles to Brentwood.

“It is a long way from the supermarket meat counter many people use these days.

“I was told about a time when a bull being walked through the shop rampaged and went through my grandmother’s window.

“It hit her china cabinet and it was almost literally like a bull in a china shop.

“Axon’s were huge, they were the butchers of Brentwood. My grandfather passed away when I was four, but I have heard and found out a lot about him.”

Museum curator John Fryer said he was pleased to receive the donation, describing the recipe book as “an incredible slice of our past”.

He said: “The book will be become part of a display when we reopen next year.

“It is an incredible slice of our past – just looking at the recipes can give you an idea of how their views on food were very different to ours.

“I don’t think concerns about cholesterol and fat levels were too prevalent back then.

“But they were very different times – Brentwood has seen two world wars since he wrote those recipes down.”

Inside the recipe book there are commercial lists for ingredients needed to make pork pies, “best and second-best” sausages, brawn and many more butcher’s shop products once favoured by Brentwood residents.

Full story from Brentwood Gazette

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