Town’s grocer passes on the tradition

Simon Fishwick is taking over Earnshaws of Horbury from Norman Earnshaw.
Simon Fishwick is taking over Earnshaws of Horbury from Norman Earnshaw.

A town business that has been under the ownership of one family for more than a century has been sold off - but the new owner has vowed to carry on both the name and tradition.

Fruit and veg shop, Earnshaws of Horbury, has stood on Queen Street since the late 1930s and run by the Earnshaw family ever since.

Prior to that, from the turn of the century, the family used a horse and cart to sell produce, and had such a reputation that they even supplied schools as far west as Blackpool.

They also had a second shop on Manorfields estate, which they eventually sold in 1999.

Now former military instructor Simon Fishwick, who lives in Horbury, has taken the company’s reins having struck a deal with retiring owner Norman Earnshaw.

He took over from Mr Earnshaw at the start of October, although the former owner stayed with him for a month to teach him the ropes.

Mr Fishwick, 43, said: “I’m passionate about fresh produce, and when Earnshaws came up for sale I thought it was something I could run.

“Earnshaws has always gone for high-quality, locally-sourced, and there’s a huge difference to the quality compared to supermarkets, that’s how it’s lasted so long.

“It has to be the best, that’s why I’m down the markets six days a week, tasting fruit at 4.30am.

“I’ll definitely be keeping the name, it’s part of Horbury’s heritage and is known throughout Yorkshire. They are allowing me to take over and uphold their reputation and good name.

“I’m honoured to continue that, but I’ve got a lot to live up to.”

Mr Earnshaw, who started work at the family’s Manorfields estate shop when he was 14, feels the business is in safe hands.

The 65-year-old said: “I think Simon will do well, he has got the ambition and knowledge and is very level headed.

“I think it’s great he’s keeping the name, hopefully it stands for quality and excellent service.

“It’s the people I will miss, they are not just customers, but friends. It’s been my life for nearly 50 years, working 12 or 14 hour days.

“You don’t do that if you don’t enjoy it.”