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Britain’s Oldest Family Firm Turns 505

On the 12th September 2020, R J Balson & Son will be 505 years old and remains the oldest direct lineage family business in the UK.  Richard Balson is the current leader and 26th generation of the family to stand behind the butcher’s block in the store on the High Street in Bridport.

In 1515, John Balson began trading meat at the local market in Bridport, Dorset, England. The Balson family has continued trading in Butchery for almost 505 years, making them England’s oldest family butchers, and the oldest family business in the UK today.

Today, RJ Balson and Son butcher shop can be found in the same location it has been in since 1880.

The Balsons have managed to survive the influx of supermarkets and fast food, and still run a successful family business after over 500 years.

Balson’s butcher shop has become especially famous for its handmade specialty sausages. Their unique sausages have won numerous awards at county and national competitions.

In their small shop located in the seaside village of Bridport, they typically have over 20 varieties of bangers at any given time. They use all-natural ingredients and even have exotic blends made out of elk, wild boar, ostrich, and duck. Their traditional British sausages typically have a blend of rusk (ground bread crumbs), meat, and fresh herbs. They earned the name bangers as they would give a loud bang when the casings popped while cooking over a hot fire.

To celebrate the latest milestone for the family firm they have made a new Sausage to add to the range. Called the 505 Pork, Ginger Bear, and Marmalade Sausage, they are delicious!

Making use of produce from three fellow family businesses in Bridport they are made using local free range pork, Ginger Bear from Palmers Brewery and locally made Marmalade.

Another great banger from a quintessentially British business.

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