For sixty of my sixty-four years I have eaten fish ‘n’ chips; high cholesterol precludes me from eating them every Friday these days. The one thing that strikes me is that, certainly over my lifetime, the only thing which has changed, is the cost (nothing much for under a shilling). The menu has stayed almost the same.
In Balham and Tooting, we went to three chip shops: The Lighthouse near Tooting Bec station (to eat our chips watching the model railway in the shop next door); the one diagonally opposite the 211 Club (to learn how to say plaice, skate and haddock in Greek) and the one in Chestnut Grove (where I’m sure they’d give discounts to West Ham fans and let them jump the queue). In the latter there was so much memorabilia emanating for sixties Hammers glory – I remember an old match-day programme they had on the wall (next to the gherkins) which had the words and numbers TSV 1860 München. I assumed this was the code for the toilet.
For research (and yes, I take writing these weekly ramblings seriously) I looked up the Superfish menu. It could have been from the ‘60s. The only notable absence was rock salmon (like smoked salmon only whiter, cheaper and covered in more batter). This was a stalwart for us if ever we had had a rise in pocket money and a portion of chips wasn’t going to suffice.
It’s ages since I’ve been to a chip shop so I may venture down to one, wearing Greek national costume, with a Billy Bonds shirt on top and ask for six penn’orth of chips and have they got any scraps.
And then wait for the Police to arrive. ‘Is that large or small cell, son?’