A butcher’s shop has closed after 118 years of business.

Owner Richard Wood closed the doors of G Wood and Sons in Burgess Hill for the final time on Saturday afternoon.

The 83-year-old, who lives with his wife Patricia in Plumpton Green, was still busy working in the shop on the last day.

Mr Wood wanted to retire but there was no one to take on the business and so the decision was made to close.

Customers gave Mr Wood many farewell cards and bottles of whisky as a token of their appreciation as he wound the business down.

“We had lots of cards and quite a few bottles of whisky, and people popped in to say goodbye,” he said.

“It’s nice to know that people were satisfied that we have done a good job.

“I have been trying to find someone to take it on but couldn’t. We had a very solid core of loyal customers but it just wasn’t large enough. Seven butchers have closed down locally in recent times and I think in future there will be fewer and fewer.

“Having said that, I would probably have kept it going if I wasn’t 83. I have been on my legs too long, standing all day. And the footfall in Church Road is pretty poor now. It’s down to some really bad decisions over so many years.”

The Woods businesses began with a shop at Alfriston in the late 1800s and once included three shops in Burgess Hill alone, with others branches at Ditchling, Earlswood and Hove.

Early deliveries were made by horse to places like Bolney and there is a story that in the 1920s the delivery man often got drunk. As he slept it off, the horse was so familiar with the route that it found its way back to the Burgess Hill yard.

People travelled from far afield for the shop’s renowned sausages and high quality meat.

Mr Wood is left with some vivid memories of when butchers were in their heyday. He recalled: “When I was a boy in Burgess Hill we had 13 butchers in the town.”