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  • "I worked at Aldens as a schoolboy in the late 90's. It certainly gave me an idea of what "hard work" was, that I could not have learnt in school.

    If they wanted to get back to the tradition of the Market surely they could have restored its original name, rather than "Meatmaster", which sounds (and looks) like a characterless chain?"
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Family butchers back home

The Oxford Times: Matthew Alden, right, with Claudia Cifrodelli and Paul Jackson Buy this photo Matthew Alden, right, with Claudia Cifrodelli and Paul Jackson

THE latest generation of a historic Oxford family butchers has reopened his shop in its spiritual home at the heart of the Covered Market.

Matthew Alden, with Claudia Cifrodelli and Paul Jackson, opened the new Meatmaster cash and carry this week following in the footsteps of his ancestor Isaac Alden who opened on the same site in the 1790s.

Mr Alden, who is the sixth generation of the butchers’ family, said: “We are very excited. The market has got a lot of character and there is still a lot of trade to be had here.”

The shop will be supplied by the existing Meatmaster business in Osney Mead, which originally opened as a primarily trade outlet. Mr Alden said 95 per cent of customers are members of the public. A total of £200,000 has been spent refitting the shop, which used to be part of Haymans Fisheries run by Mr Alden’s father, Richard. Haymans will continue to trade next door.

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