Loyal customers of a 130-year-old butchers which is facing the chop at Christmas have put out an SOS call, to 'Save Our Sausages'.

Kennedy's butchers - which has two shops in Croydon - is planning to wind down its business at the end of this year because of an increase in overheads and a drop in custom.

However the company's small army of loyal customers have reacted with shock and have vowed to do what they can to ensure the future of the butcher's renowned sausages.

One customer, Bryan Swallow, claims he even turned down a promotion to be near a Kennedy's so he and his wife could have regular access to their sausages.

He said: "Kennedy's make the best sausages and chipolatas anywhere, ever. I live in Bristol now and me and the wife went on the internet to find out if we could buy their sausages online - then we found they were closing.

"This can't be allowed to happen, we must find a way for them to continue trading. I used to drive 50 miles just to buy the pork sausages.

"I turned down a promotion and took a sideways move to Beckenham just so that I'd be nearer to a supply. Set up a website, mortgage your mother-in-law, sell the Merc. Do something and do it now!"

Another customer, Paul Beaumont, added: "For me it has to be the particular scented atmosphere of the actual shop, the dressing of the shop and the splendid, memorable taste of the sausages.

"Kennedy's closure is very sad indeed, a further loss from Britain's great past."

Other customers who have been Kennedy's customers since before the war say they cannot believe the butchers is to close.

John Jarratt, from Shirley, even claims Kennedy's sausages have a cult following in Malaysia after he took a batch there for his sons.

The 86-year-old said: "I can't believe it and I will do what I can to campaign to keep it open. I just can't understand it - my wife and I go there once a week and the place is always full.

"I can remember going there during the war when everything was rationed. We were only allowed small portions but the queues at Kennedy's were always long.

"I once took a batch of Kennedy's marvellous sausages out to Malaysia where my sons were out there working. They were such a hit that soon there was a a demand for Kennedy's sausages among the Malaysians. I tell you, they can't be beaten for taste."

Gwen Moxham, 84, has been a customer at the Church Road branch of Kennedy's since she was a girl. She said: "I've been going to Kennedy's about twice a week since before the war. My grandmother was also a customer and she would be very upset to know they were closing.

"I remember during the war getting up very early and joining the queue outside Kenendy's to make sure we got some of their sausages and chipolatas. It's a sad day."

The last trading day of Kennedy's will be on December 22, except for one shop which will close next month.