Ringmer’s alligator sausage pioneer reaches meaty milestone

Veteran butcher Lew Howard (centre) with Darren Howard (left) and Peter Clark
Veteran butcher Lew Howard (centre) with Darren Howard (left) and Peter Clark

The man credited with introducing Sussex to the alligator sausage celebrates 50 years as a village butcher on Monday.

Lew Howard, 76, followed his father and grandfather before him into the business and has no plans to retire.

His award-winning sausages have gained many accolades over the years. He has been crowned Sussex champion on several occasions and is a former UK champion.

He supplied his wares to Harrods, the world’s most famous department store in London, for a quarter of a century. Lew has produced more than 60 different varieties of sausages, but his alligator version is perhaps the most unusual and involved importing reptile meat from Louisiana in the United States.

High in protein and low in fat, it is said to taste like a mixture of chicken and fish and is a big favourite in the Deep South.

Originally from Norfolk, Lew bought his business in Springett Avenue, Ringmer, 50 years ago shortly after his marriage to Pam.

He has never looked back and Lew Howard and Son now supplies meat to more than 30 local pubs and restaurants.

Together with his son Darren, who has followed in Lew’s footsteps, he caused a stir in both the football and culinary world in 2010 by producing World Cup bangers to celebrate the tournament in South Africa.

They created ‘St George sausages’, adding red and white colouring to give a patriotic twist to their traditional recipe passed down through three generations of the family for 100 years.

Lew said he was honoured to have had such honest and reliable staff that have helped make his business a success.

He also paid tribute to the loyalty of his customers and, not least, the support of his wife.