BUTCHER Michael Wood is hanging up his apron tomorrow after almost half a century in the trade.
Mr Wood, 64, and wife Brenda, 63, will close the door on the business in Broad Lane, Moldgreen, and take a well-earned rest after 16 years without a holiday.
Fast foods, barbecues and eating out has meant changes to customers' buying habits and a decline in the butchery trade.
"The young people don't cook any more. It's all fast foods and takeaways," said Mr Wood.
"When I started work here in 1959 there were 13 butchers shop between Shore Head roundabout and here. We're the last one."
Mr Wood, who took over the business from the Schofield family 15 years ago, said that 30 years ago people bought a joint of meat every week.
But today, chops, sausages and steaks were all popular for people eating quick meals or dining al fresco.
He said the actual price of meat hadn't gone up that much. A pound of mince had risen from £1.20 in 1974 to £2.10 today and a joint of beef from £1.60 a pound to £2.70.
But Mr Wood said it was the quality and service at his shop which had kept customers coming back over the years.
"You get to know what customers want every week. They're creatures of habit where meat is concerned," he said.
Mr Wood served his apprenticeship at Shepley Co-op, after leaving school at 15.
He worked there for about four years, before joining Schofields in 1959.
He and his wife,
who have been married for 41 years and live in Jos Lane at Shepley, have a daughter, two sons and three grandchildren.
Mr Wood is chairman of Shepley Bowling Club and bowls three times a week.
He said: "I've enjoyed every minute and made some good friends who I will miss.
"I've even given many of the customers nicknames. I've called one woman `Mrs Clapperjaws' for years. I couldn't explain why," he smiled.