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For next month’s Community News article (May 2016), I visited Bishop’s Hull Butchers to meet up with proprietor Tim Pope.
Very much a local man, Tim was born in Taunton 64 years ago and attended the old Bishop’s Hull primary school in Gypsy Lane, as did his twin daughters Tracey and Laura after him.
The twins still live in the village. Tracey (with daughter Erin) and Laura who has two children Toby and Jasmin with her husband Jamie.
Straight from school, Tim worked for shirt-maker’s Frederick Theak, before going on to A.J. Baker of Comeytrowe in the early ’70s. After a brief move to Bournemouth and working as an HGV lorry driver, Tim married Linda in 1975 and they are still happily together today, 41 years later.
In 1977 the Popes, moved to Bishop’s Hull and Tim joined British Cellophane of Bridgwater.
Tim started work at our village butchers back in 1987, when it was called Williams & Smy.
It was in 2000, whilst working as ‘live in’ caretaker/gardener at the Frank Bond Centre, that the Popes were given the opportunity to buy the butcher’s business, which they did, renaming it Bishop’s Hull Butchers.
In 2009, the Post Office next door to the butcher’s shop closed and sadly remained so for 3 years.
Understandably, there was much public outcry at the need for it’s return.
The Popes decided to purchase the whole building in 2012, which gave them the existing butcher’s shop, the empty former Post Office unit and living accommodation above the two.
Early in the following year, in a very public spirited gesture, they re-opened the much needed Post Office/Shop, alongside their existing Butchery business.
Supporting the local village shop is vital to our community. Tim and Linda, sell everything from Sausages to Stamps, Beef to Beer and even deliver newspapers.
By John Hunt
Bishop’s Hull Butchers and Bishop’s Hull Post Office and Stores
Bishop’s Hull Road, Bishop’s Hull, Taunton TA1 5EP
01823 337 497