An emotional Renfrew butcher says cancer was the reason he had to close his family store.

Hugh McWhinne, 76, revealed that he took the decision to close his shop which had been in his family for approximately four generations after he discovered he had the life-threatening disease.

The popular shop - A&H Mcwhinnies Butchers - was a hit in the town.

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The Gazette: Photo of the old butcher shopPhoto of the old butcher shop (Image: Newsquest)

Hugh, who lives in Langbank, had worked in the store since he was a teenager after he wanted to help his dad and start making his own money.

Now, 62 years later he is looking back on a career with fondness. 

He said: "I can still remember when I started in the butchers with my dad.

"I used to play golf and I had to make a decision if I wanted to pursue that or work in the shop.

"I ended up choosing the butchers in the end as it was a family shop and wanted to work with my dad.

"And now all this time later I was still doing it."

The Gazette:

Hugh recently discovered that he had got cancer in his tongue and working in the butchers was becoming more and more difficult.

If it wasn't for this health reason, the former butcher would have "still been working away" in the shop he admits.

And it is not only Hugh who will miss being in the shop as support poured out on social media thanking him and his family for their service over the years when he announced his closure - something that he says makes him feel better.

He added: "It's better they say stuff like that than remember the bad memories.

"In my entire time being there, I can really only remember being off once and that was when I was 18/19.

"Every morning at 6am I was in that shop and doing 12-hour shifts, but that didn't bother me at all.

"Although the building is the same, the area has changed quite a lot, and habits have changed I can tell you that."

The Gazette: Photographs of people connected to the shop including Hugh's uncle - Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh McWhinnie - who used to work in the store Photographs of people connected to the shop including Hugh's uncle - Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh McWhinnie - who used to work in the store (Image: Newsquest)

Now with retirement underway, Hugh admits that he is looking forward to getting back to looking after his classic car collection that he has, something he didn't have time for before.

Although golf was a huge part of his early life, the 76-year-old says that he "gave it up" years ago and doesn't look like he will go back to it.

He summarised his time as a butcher by saying: "I have fond memories of the shop and the career I had.

"It will be missed but obviously I have other things to worry about just now.

"But I want to thank everyone who came into the shop over the years."