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)