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Chip Shops

The Rushden Echo, 16th December 1966, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Fish and Chip Lovers' Plight in Rushden

Fish and chips are part of our national heritage. They may be sedately eaten with knife and fork, or picked sizzling from the newspaper which mystically gives them that extra special flavour. But do not let your mouth water, for if you are in Rushden, it might not be so easy to get your "fish and six," as you would think.

The "Echo" decided to investigate the local fish and chip shop service after hearing two newcomers to the town describe the opening hours as ridiculous.

One, a young man of twenty lives in a self-contained flat and has to prepare all his meals, said he never seemed to be able to find a chip shop open when he wanted a meal - lunchtime or late evening.


"In practically every other town I know you can always get a fish and chip lunch or supper somewhere," he said. "But not in Rushden."€

"It seems to me if you do not work within the boot and shoe industry you are just not catered for in Rushden."€

Asked to explain that, he said the boot and shoe workers had their lunch between 12 and 1 o’clock and assumed that was why all chip shops closed at one pm.

His companion who has been in the town about three months, said he had given up trying to find a chip shop open late in the evening.


“I have tried to get fish and chips after leaving the cinema in the middle of the week and it is a hopeless job. They seem to close in Rushden when fish and chip shops in other towns are beginning to open,"€ he said.

"You can get a better fish and chip service in Hong Kong. I have bought them there in the early hours of the morning."

A Rushden housewife who goes out to work said she hardly ever bothers with fish and chips because her lunch hour is between 1 and 2.

"If I could get them it would be a very quick and convenient meal occasionally," she said.

On the fish fryer’s side, he is obviously in business to make money and he obviously feels that extending the lunch hour trade for even an hour on Friday and Saturday - the two busiest days - is not justified.


A check of opening times showed that only two shops open in Monday evenings, the latest keeping open until 9 pm. On Tuesday only one shop opens in the lunch hour, closing at one, but it is possible to buy chips in the evening.

On Wednesday lunchtime two shops open "again both closing at one" and in a couple of cases shops do remain open fairly late in the evening.

Thursday is a bad day. There are no shops open for lunch and only one remains open until 10 pm.

On Friday they all open for lunch and in the evening one shop opens until 11.30. Saturday is similar except that the latest shop closes at 11 pm.

It seems if you have transport one can whiz from one shop to another and invariably get chips if you do not leave it too late. If you have no transport the chances are you can end up with sore feet and still no chips.

The Rushden Echo, 26th July 1968, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Plan for Fish and Chip Shop Meets With Opposition

Whenever plans for a new fish and chip shop for a residential area are put forward objections are naturally forthcoming. Recently such a proposal for the new estate of which Blackfriars is part, brought not only comments between householders, and comments in the council chamber, but a residents’ petition.

In June Rushden Urban Council were asked by their Highways and Planning Committee to recommend that the council should not object to a fish and chip shop in Blackfriars.

This recommendation was not accepted and through an amendment the matter was passed back to the committee.

This Wednesday the council were again due to meet and the recommendation before them this time was that the application for a shop be refused.

On going to press, we are not able to give the result of this proposal, but if the application is refused it will be a victory for the opposition.


The council recommendation gives the reason for the change of heart as being attributable to the objections they have received.

What were the objections? Firstly, there was the noise, then smell, the litter problem, for the houses have open plan gardens, the additional traffic, and the possibility of devaluation on property.

Mr. John Hope, of 1 Blackfriars, who organised the petition, pointed out these objections and added that he felt there were sufficient fish and chip shops in the vicinity. Are there? Other residents, for having a shop on the estate, say they have some way to go.

No Hardship

In fact, three fish and chip shops, in Wellingborough Road, Moor Road and opposite the Lightstrung cannot be more than about half a mile away, so although it would be an amenity for the estate it does not really cause hardship if the proposals are rejected.

Mr. Hope sent a list of 32 householders he had canvassed to the council. Of these only two were in favour and two non-committals.

There was one point of agreement between all those who had and those who had not objected. They would like several other shops before a fish and chip shop. It seems that nobody is very interested in putting up a chemist, greengrocers’ shop or a butcher.

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