Facing closure

A butcher says he is facing closure because a neighbouring greengrocer's shop shut down.

Brian Clapton, of Brian's Butchers in Barking, said trade has dropped 20% since August when the greengrocer moved, and he is waiting for his lease to lapse. "The writing's on the wall," said Brian. "It's just a matter of time before we close up."

Faircross Parade is home to 20 shops, including Brian's, and trade has fallen dramatically as shoppers go elsewhere.

He said: "Put yourself in the position of the customer. You're not going to go from one parade to another. You want it all in one place."

Brian's shop has been on Faircross Parade for 11 years, but he is remaining optimistic and plans to move back to his native Essex to open a new shop. "When one door shuts, another door opens," he said.

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