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Canvin Butchers shop in Stony Stratford

Many thanks to the following for their help: Steve canvin - Janet Davies (nee Canvin)

The Canvins Butchers shops in Stony Stratford & Bedford.

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A Short History
It was Thomas Richard Canvin (1815-1873) who started off as a publican before moving into the butcher and raising pigs. He was born in the village of Wicken and from our research it was him that started the family involvement in the meat trade. He had a son John Thomas Canvin (1841-1896) and it was his two sons that started the butcher’s shops in both the towns, Edwin John Robert Canvin (1868-1937) with the shop in Bedford and Albert Edward Canvin (1870-1940) the shop in Stony Stratford. Albert Edward Canvin (1870-1940) sons Frank William Canvin (1905-1969) and John Burton Canvin (1903-1960) carried on in the Butcher trade. When Albert Edward died, his estate was divided between John Burton, Frank William and his nephew, John Albert Canvin (who became Mayor of Bedford) his estate come to £2724 quite an amount worth £155,161 in todays money !.


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This is a corner shot of the Butchers in Stony Stratford and you can clearly see that the the pork trade was doing well looking at all the meat hanging in the background. The young man on the right in the stripped apron is Victor Thomas Canvin (1892 – 1970) he later emigrated to Canada in the year 1908. The Gentleman to his left is Albert Edward Canvin the owner of the business (1870-1940) and his wife Annetta Burton Canvin (1872-1939) , the young lad to the far left we don't know his name
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The shop in Stony Stratford is now long gone I’m afraid but a few pictures of it remain on the net and in our collection. John Thomas Canvin (1841-1896) owed the shop in Stony and it was situated near the top of the town and was demolished in the late 1980’s, the site today leads down to Swinfen’s Yard right next to Cycle King bike shop. The Picture on the right shows the Butchers shop site being demolished in the late 1980. In the big picture at the top of the page the signs proudly read Wholesale & Retail Purveyors of Meat and licensed dealer in game we reckon the photos are from about 1905. in the yard at the back the shop it had its own Slaughter-house with the Butchers acquiring meat from local farmers as well as the local cattle markets.


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Picture on the right shows the shop location now in Stony Stratford.
The shop and Slaughterhouse were involved in a massive fire that was described in the Northampton mercury Jan 1883

it reads : Stony Stratford – A fire occurred on 2nd-morning, in Mr canvin’s bakehouse and Slaughter-house. So rapid was the progress of the fire, in consequence of the high wind blowing, that the outbuildings were burnt out in less than an hour. Great fear was entertained for some time that the adjoining buildings would catch fire, but fortunately this was not the case. The origin of the fire cannot be ascertained to any certainty. The damage is estimated at about £250.

The Bedford Butchers shops.

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(Picture shows Edwin John Robert Canvin)
There was another Butchers shop that was owned and operated by Edwin John Robert Canvin (1868 – 1937) brother of Albert Edward Canvin the butcher in Stony Stratford he is descended from our Great, Great, Grand Uncle Thomas Richard Canvin (1815-1873). He moved from Stony Stratford to Bedford. His father, John Thomas Canvin (1841-1896) was a butcher and a farmer. He had a slaughterhouse in Stony Stratford. The shop operated from 18 Harpur Road in Bedford and is now a Clarks Shoe shop. He died 1937 and he was a well-liked businessman of the parish and there was quite an obituary about the man in the local press (please click here for the full obituary). His funeral was attended by senior members of the meat trade including Bedford and district butchers association, and the East midland meat traders federation, and Biggleswade meat butchers association. Edwin was one of the ministry’s meat graders at Bedford cattle market and during the war was mainly responsible for meat distribution throughout Bedford and a great part of the county. He was also considered to be one of the finest judges of Livestock and his services were of great demand at Fat Stock shows. After the second world war the shop become more of a general store selling a variety of good, the shop finally closed at Harper street around 1974. His Son John Albert Canvin (1892-1960) went on to become Mayor of Bedford between the years of 1944 – 1946 and also still traded in the meat trade as the family does to this day, currently Richard Canvin is CEO of Dovecote farm that was established in Yorkshire in 1977 currently with a workforce of 680 staff, the trade has come a long way since the shops in Bedford and Stony Stratford

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A christmas flyer from Canvin’s the Butchers - Bedford

John Albert canvin Mayor of Bedford 1944 - 1946

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A couple of receipts from Canvin’s the Butchers in Stony Stratford & Wolverton - both dated 1938.