Over 150 years of family tradition and excellence
Established in 1856 by a local farmer, Thomas Altham, who opened the family's first butcher's shop in Poulton-le-sands, now known as Morecambe.
Our story is one of family values and good, honest hard work that sees us provide consistently excellent meat products.
Thomas Altham (1826 – 1912)
Founder in 1856. Lived at Mewith Hall Farm, Bentham. Married three times and had nine children. Thomas set up the business when Morecambe was but a fishing village. Back then, the family shop on Queen Street faced the sea and was surrounded by green fields.
The first Altham's shop opens.
John Carr Altham (1867 – 1904)
Married Isabella Raby of Park Farm and had three children. He played rugby for Morecambe and was nicknamed "War Horse". Tragically died in 1904, left a widow and his three children all under six years old.
Mrs J C Altham (1868 – 1952)
A woman of substance. Left a widow in 1904 by John Carr Altham, with three children all under six years old. No banks in the area would lend a woman money. A good friend in Ireland lent her the money to get the business back on its feet.
John Robert Altham (1899 – 1983)
Born in Queen Street above the butcher's shop. During the second world war he served as an air raid warden volunteering for service in West Ham during the London Blitz.
Thomas Altham (1898 – 1974)
As a young boy he travelled the markets of Scotland buying cattle and sheep. Worked mainly in the Regent Street shop. He bought Morecambe Bank Farm in 1943 where he reared sheep and cattle which were sent to an abattoir owned by Althams in Morecambe.
Three More Shops Open
Mrs J C Altham opened 3 more shops on Regent Road, Morecambe and Lower Heysham village.
Thomas Carr Altham
My first job when I left school (aged 15) was slaughtering lambs, pigs, & cattle that came over from Ireland to Heysham harbour by boat and were not fit to travel onwards by train.
Born in Kendal, Westmorland, now known as a Cumbria. My contacts throughout the area provided an excellent base for when I started working with Thomas.
I became a director in 1993 after spending a childhood working in our farms and the butchery business and joined the butchery business full time in 1994.
At the young age of 17, I began working at Althams Factory in Morecambe on the shop floor. A number of the team I work alongside today were present on my first day in the family business and I have learned some great skills from them.