Tributes paid to trader who ran butchers established in 1747

DEDICATED: Long-serving Thirsk butcher Harry Lee

LONG-ESTABLISHED: Harry Lee & Sons shop in Castlegate, Thirsk.

First published in News
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TRIBUTES have been paid to long-serving butcher whose family business was established in Thirsk in 1747.

Some 260 mourners have attended a funeral service at St Mary’s Church, Thirsk, for Harry Lee, who has died aged 79 after a lengthy battle with bowel cancer.

During the service, more than £1,000 was collected for the church and Herriot Hospice Homecare, which provided care for Mr Lee, who had been married to his wife, June, since 1957.

Mr Lee, of Sowerby, had three children, Simon, Giles and Sally, six grandchildren and a great grandchild.

He joined the family firm, which was established by Thomas Lee in the year John Wesley first preached in the town and is thought to be among the oldest family firms in Yorkshire, after leaving school in 1950.

Following two years’ National Service in the Green Howards, Mr Lee returned to the business, which has shops in Castlegate and Market Place, taking on its management in 1972.

His sons, who now run the firm, said their father had been passionate about providing a traditional service and had regularly attended Thirsk Auction Mart to select animals.

Giles Lee said: “The butcher’s shop was his life and he was very proud of the family tradition and the fact that we are the only butcher in area that still has its own abbatoir.

“He was one of the characters of Thirsk. He always had a joke and a smile on his face and like the banter with customers in the shop.

“When we were young he would join us on holiday on a Saturday night and return on a Sunday evening so he could serve his customers.”

“He was one of the characters of Thirsk. He always had a joke and a smile on his face and like the banter with customers in the shop.

Thirsk councillor Gareth Dadd said: “Harry was one of the most respected and charismatic figures within the town and business community.

“He leaves a business that his sons shall continue with the same solid traditional values of honesty and service, values upon which the community of Thirsk is built, in no small part to gentlemen like Harry."

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