Hunt is on for buyer of ‘best black pudding’

Anthony Worrall Thompson.
Anthony Worrall Thompson.

A top celebrity chef has said it would be a ‘shame’ to lose the recipe for ‘Britain’s best black pudding’ – made just outside Ilkeston.

George Stafford’s secret recipe for his multi-award winning black puddings passed on to butcher Ray Sheldon when he bought the Stafford family shop in Stanley Common 10 years ago.

Black Pudding

Black Pudding

But at 70 years old, Mr Sheldon hung up his apron in March this year, leaving no one else able to supply the fried breakfast staple.

Now the search is on to find someone willing to pay the five-figure price tag and get the late Mr Stafford’s puddings back on the shelves.

Restaurateur Mr Worrall Thompson may be the man for the job.

“It’s a shame the best black pudding in Britain is no more,” he said. I had my last delivery only a month ago, and to me it still beats all the others hands down.

“Give me the recipe and I’ll give it a shot.

“It mustn’t be allowed to disappear without trace or recognition.”

Fellow celebrity cooks Delia Smith and Rick Stein agree that the sausage, which has won countless prizes, including in Bakewell and France, is the country’s finest.

Mr Sheldon said: “I’m very concerned that it keeps going – it’s lasted 70 years.

“If someone like Anthony Worrall Thompson would take it on it would guarantee its future.

“I really hope it will be taken on by someone and it would be nice if someone local bought it.”

The shop in Belper Road closed on March 9 after decades of serving the village – and selling meat products all over the country.

“It was pretty sad to see it go,” he said.