T’ Chip Shop!

With a basin in one hand and three pennies in the other

Through the backs to the Chip Shop I’d go.

That chip shop’s not there now, like many another

It’s been flattened like row after row

I recall chip shop’s new range, pans full of real fat

That bubbled and sizzled and steamed

In clouds swirling round us as patient we sat

On wood forms waiting ages it seemed.

Chip man with wire basket swirled the chips all around,

Deftly testing twixt finger and thumb.

For he knew ‘to a T’, that I’ll be bound

Precise moment when the chips were well done.

He dipped fish in batter, a master of the art

And nudged them with a long wire fork.

His wife, looking on, now took up her part

It was more like a game than hot work

She set to a-serving while he stoked up the fire

With coke from a scuttle close by.

I recall reaching up, a little bit higher

“A pennworth an’ a fish” I would cry

That’s all that it cost – and scraps they cost ‘nowt’.

And vinegar and salt were thrown in

And back home I went with the supper I’d bought

And threw paper wrappings into t’ bin.

Fish, chips, peas and dabs were all that they sold

None of what you can buy there today.

A good meal for threepence, piping hot, never cold

Was value for money, I’d say!

     Mick O’ Pleasington (aka Fred Rose)