Whereas the word "shambles" means a "state of total disorder" nowadays, a few centuries back it meant the part of town where animals – cows, pigs and anything else in between – were slaughtered and prepped for customers in the open air.
Times have changed, and today most of us buy our food from supermarkets where strip-lighting, chilled aisles and vacuum-packed portions of meat are the norm.
Richard Balson is at the helm of a business that has seen the transition from rough and ready to refined. Dating back to 1515, butchers RJ Balson & Son, based in Bridport, Dorset, is Britain's oldest family run business, selling everything from meat and poultry to game.
"In 1515 there weren't any shops or high streets or transport really, apart from the horse and cart," Balson told CNBC in a phone interview. To give an idea how old the company is, it began trading when Henry VIII was King of England, and just 23 years after Christopher Columbus stumbled upon the New World in 1492.
Today, Balson, 59, is the latest of his family to be involved in the business.
"I'm the 26th generation of butcher that has worked in the shop," he said. "I see myself as the current custodian holding the fort at the moment, until either my son or his sons or my nephew or somebody else takes the reigns," he added.