The Fish and Chip Shop

Fish cakes in those days were two slabs of potato sandwiched with flaked fish, and the whole lot dipped in batter and fried.

In the street behind our house was Sisson’s fish and chip shop.

It was a favourite place for us kids to hang around in the evenings.  It had a wide pavement in front, with a lamp post directly outside.  The light from the lamp post and from the steamed-up window attracted us kids.  That, and the fact that when anyone we knew left the shop with their chips ‘open’ (i.e. unwrapped), we used to crowd around in the hope they’d say, “Do you want a chip?”  We always did!

In those days (1952) chips were 3d and a piece of cod was 7d, old money.  That’s just over 1p for chips and almost 3p for fish in today’s money.  You could also buy a carton of mushy peas, small for 6d and large for a shilling (2p and 5p).  Yummy!  Fish cakes in those days were two slabs of potato sandwiched with flaked fish, and then the whole lot dipped in batter and fried.  Delicious with salt and lashings of vinegar.  I feel hungry just talking about it.

Fish and Chip shops didn’t sell pies and curry sauce in those days.  Just fish and chips.  They were wrapped first in a sheet of grease-proof paper and then in newspaper to keep them warm.  The print from the newspaper always came off on your hands – so you often ate your chips with black fingers.

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