Born into a family of butchers
Ninety-one-year-old Richard ‘Rex’ Lancaster had an idyllic childhood in Grange. In shorts and vest his six-to-eight-week summer holidays were spent paddling the duck pond or collecting tadpoles. Vacations to Bournemouth and Scotland were with his grandmother and aunties.
Bright lights of Morecambe
As he matured, Rex’s like for pony riding along the sands faded in favour of the bright lights of ring side wrestling at Morecambe’s Winter Gardens. Dancing on the Pier, and Gilbert and Sullivan shows were no strangers either. Interests metamorphosed much like the surroundings. Over the decades a swimming pool came and went. Kents Bank and Risedale were built up.
Learning the butcher’s trade
Born into a family of butchers – John Aspin to be exact – Rex would cycle meat deliveries to customers in Grange and beyond. He would travel to Carnforth with his parents to collect cattle sent down from Perth, in Scotland, destined for the family-owned small-paddocked well-fenced slaughterhouse. And, he would scrub the shop floor of the business that would one day become his own.War comes to Grange
As booming World War II bombs shook Grange’s way of life to its foundations, Rex’s mother kept their butcher’s running despite rationing. Too young to join-up Rex ‘played soldier’ despatching messages for the Home Guard, riding Rupert the Welsh pony, in his pristine uniform. He would later leave to become a Royal Marine.
Inheriting the family business
On returning, Rex worked for the family business. With marriage beckoning and in need of a secure financial footing he became more involved in the work his mother had done since the age of 15 when her father died suddenly. A savvy business woman she passed on her wisdom. Rex became the sole owner once his mum and two aunties died. He ran the business until retiring in 1982. The shop in Grange’s Main Street, retains most of its original features and is now trading as a chocolate shop.