Wigan chippy owner highlights importance of National Fish and Chip Day

A Wigan chippy owner has highlighted the importance of National Fish and Chip Day for businesses such as his own.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 9:11 am
Updated Friday, 4th September 2020, 9:16 am
Paul Knox with staff members Sam Riley, left, and Lyndsay Jones, right

A Wigan chippy owner has highlighted the importance of National Fish and Chip Day for businesses such as his own.

Paul Knox, who runs Gidlow Plaice, said today’s event is important to highlight the importance fish and chip shops still play in the heart of communities.

Dating back to the 1860s, fish and chips is as British as food can get and Paul said it is important to promote the trade at a time when other takeaways have exploded in numbers.

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Paul, who has run the chippy for nearly ten years, said: “Days like this are very important.

“Although the fish and chip trade isn’t dying, we’re being saturated with different types of takeaways such as Indians and Chinese and other places.

“So to keep the presence of fish and chip shops in the high street is very important and days like this help raise awareness.”

Due to the coronavirus crisis, Paul said the chippy have not organised anything to mark the day, but in past years they have had half-price sales and had British flags outside the shop.

The 39-year-old, from Golborne, said: “We didn’t think it was worth doing anything this year because of Covid.

“We have social distancing to think about also and having more customers would make that difficult unfortunately.”

He said the business has been open throughout most of lockdown with the exception of the first few weeks.

And although trade has been picking up, he said it has been difficult with social distancing and mask-wearing to contend with.

He said: “We’ve had a lot of people coming in as usual and trade is picking up now compared to a few months ago.

“But the social distancing and mask wearing does affect our business and put some people off from coming in, so events like this really help in promoting fish and chip shops.” Launched in 2015, National Fish and Chip Day celebrates the nation’s favourite dish. The day aims to give fish and chips the recognition it deserves and help to secure its position as our most popular food.

Usually the event takes place on the first Friday in June every year but the coronavirus crisis has delayed it this time around.

But organisers said they were delighted that the event has gone ahead this year.

A spokesman said: “As well as being one of the most popular awareness days of the year, we want National Fish and Chip Day this year to be even more special as we say a very big thank you to this amazing industry.

“They are at the centre of every community, and who have, when able to do so safely, adapted to keep us fed, and when that wasn’t possible have kept us all safe by remaining closed at great sacrifice to their business.

“All of them have shown great resilience throughout lockdown.”