William Fisher (pictured above), born in 1825, was the great, great grandfather of Bill Fisher, Managing Director of Fisher’s. William was a prominent tradesman and active townsman in the county of Buckinghamshire. The second picture shows William on the far right with one of his children, Albert, wearing a bowler hat.
His eldest child of twelve, Francis Fisher (pictured above), was born in 1849 and moved to Watford in 1877. He built 76 High Street (pictured above), Market Street and other streets named after his children, Francis, Arthur, William and Percy.
William Fisher’s eighth child, Charles Edward Fisher (pictured above), was a butcher and cattle dealer. Going to Ireland regularly to purchase cattle and sheep, he shipped them to England and sold them at Islington cattle market. He built a house on Pinner Road in Harrow, called Dublin House no doubt because of his frequent trips to Ireland. Charles Fisher also dealt in property, purchasing flats in Springfield Road and Northolt Road in Harrow. He was referred to as the Champion Long Distance Swimmer of the World, being the holder of the best swimming record since Captain Webb swam from Dover to Ramsgate. In 1891, he defeated David Dalton, who had come over from America especially to swim, in a race from Blackwall to Gravesend for £50. He openly challenged anyone to a long distance swimming race for £100. He was never knowingly defeated. He retired to Hove, Sussex, where he died in 1930.
Alfred Alexander Fisher (pictured above) was Charles’ son and opened his first butcher’s shop in 1912 on the Wandsworth Road in South London. Alfred, who was known as Alec, formed the company A. A. Fisher Limited in 1927. His father Charles was one of the original directors.
When the First World War began, Alec was conscripted into the Air Force and the shop was run by his wife Daisy and Mr. Battis, the manager. On his return, Alec decided to grow the business and acquired 15 more shops by the time of the Second World War.
After the war Alec continued to grow the business, and with the help of his son, the second Charles Edward Fisher (pictured above), the business grew to 34 shops, including the shop at Gerrards Cross.
In 1969 Alec’s son Charles bought Sidney Jones the butcher’s shop on Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross and the Express Dairy next to it. During the planning stage of joining the two shops into one, the adjoining fruit and vegetable shop, F. McLarens, was offered up for sale. Charles bought the shop and car park at the rear and made new plans to convert all three into a supermarket. The supermarket as we know it today opened in 1970.
Charles’ son Bill (pictured above) joined the firm in 1973 and built a Sausage and Cooked Meats factory in Watford to service Fisher’s own butcher’s shops and others in the area. Over the next 20 years the trade would steadily increase. However, as the fortunes of butchers across the country turned, Bill had to close all the butcher’s shops, one by one.
The supermarket at Gerrards Cross was able to withstand the downturn in meat sales due to the strength of it’s Delicatessen, Fruit and Vegetables and Grocery. Bill’s son, Paul and his wife, Sam, have recently joined the firm to carry on Fisher’s trading into the future.
We are now looking forward to celebrating 100 years since Alec opened his first shop, in 2012 to coincide with the Olympic celebrations.
The Picture Shows Sam and Paul Fisher with Richard Birch, store manager.