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W oodborough Inn, Winscombe Celebrate the season at the

Open Monday to Sunday for lunches and evening meals We have an extensive menu and wine list with freshly prepared daily specials and seasonal favourites

Party menus available for all special occassions Hotel accommodation with first class rooms available Skittle alley to hire with a choice of buffet menus. Excellent disabled access and facilities Fine wines, real ales and cider Ample car parking. All major credit cards accepted

Book your meal on 01934 844167 or email us on

Woodborough Inn, Sandford Road, Winscombe, North Somerset BS25 1HD Telephone 01934 844167. For details visit

Unbeatable prices for all types of carpets and flooring

Domestic, commercial,

contract and retail Wood, vinyl, tile,

sheet, safety flooring and carpets

All of our skilled craftsmen are fully trained and qualified ensuring first class quality • Fast, efficient service

Trusted and

longest established family firm in area

Carpets 6 the complete flooring sho wr oom &

Carpets & Floorings Limited, Unit 1D, Valley Line Industrial Estate, Wedmore Road, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3EE. Tel: 01934 741144, or call 0845 8802 498. W: E:

Strawberry Line Times December 2012-January 2013

Free measuring and quotation service

Floorings Limited

The smell of fish and chips evokes both winter evenings and summer at the seaside. It’s the ultimate comfort food. And it may surprise you to know that it’s also one of the healthiest meals you can eat - assuming you stay active in between helpings and take a walk like our gent does around the reservoir or along the Strawberry Line.

If you compare the average take-away with the average portion of cod and chips you’ll be consuming fewer calories than its competitors. Fish and chips are around 750 calories a portion while pizzas hit four figures with ease, Indian and Chinese meals

Strawberry Line Times December 2012-January 2013

Fish and chips along the line

You can’t beat the evocative smell of hot fish and chips on a winter’s evening says Aunt Agatha

The other day I met a man who drives to a certain fish bar in the Strawberry Line District every Saturday from Bristol for fish and chips because he said the particular shop was the best in the west. This after a visit to buy cider but before a walk around the reservoir in Cheddar. The gent makes a valid point - once you’ve found a fish bar you trust - visiting it is habit forming - and for many a weekly routine that cannot be broken.

consisting of three or four parts give you much of your daily calorie in take at more than 1,000 calories and a cheeseburger and chips easily has more calories than cod and chips.

Fish and chips have been a favourite on the nation’s menu since the mid 19th century when battered fish and fried sliced pototoes became universally popular at the height of the industrial revolution. And one of the reasons was that fish could be tranported swiftly by train. In the early 1860s the first fish and chip shops in the modern sense began to open across the country and by the end of the century had given rise to fish restaurants and the now familiar chippy. The low price, tasty combination of white fish and salted chips plus a high fat content from the lard used to fry the meal ensured a nutritional and filling meal for people on a low income. By 1910 there were 25,000 chippies across the country with the first ones opening in the Strawberry Line District in the Edwardian era.

By the 1920s chippies were to be found in Clevedon catering for the day trippers, and in Cheddar for those exploring the Gorge and caves - taking the train from Yatton or Wells. Colin Force from Yatton can remember going to the Curzon Cinema in Clevedon and popping out for a bag of chips costing a few coppers in the intermission in the early 1950s with the manager holding up the second feature until everyone were back in their seats. After the war Mr Hawkings opened a chippy in Yatton (close to where the Cooperative store is today) where for 1/6d you could buy cod and chips. At around the same time in Clevedon there were two chippies - one owned by Mr Webb by the Triangle and another near the Plough Inn on the road to Tickenham - although by the 1960s prices were over two bob for fish and chips and rising.

Pearline Clarke who worked as a hello girl in Cheddar’s telephone exchange recalls how a van would visit the villages selling fish and chips on particular days including Wedmore, Draycott and Axbridge. In Cheddar the Thomas family opened a chippy by the White Hart just before the war although due to the rationing of lard the shop only opened on a Friday and Saturday until after hostilities ended. Just one penny purchased a small bag of chips.

Cheddar still has two fish bars along with a selection of alternative take-aways. One chippy used to be opposite Home Ground where the cinema was in the building now occupied by a building society. Nearby Axbridge had its own chippy for a time in the High Street during the late 1940s when through traffic gave shops plenty of passing trade. However, by the 1960s the town came to rely on the Friday visits of the chip van pulling up in the Square owned by a gent known as Jolly Joe - who introduced a new fast food to the Strawberry Line District: the burger. John Trask of

Axbridge recalls the visits of the chip van continuing until the 1970s. He can remember customers looking at the town hall clock in anticipation of the arrival of their weekly supply of chips, while window cleaner Ron Moulton recalls the chip van pulling up in the railway yard in the 1950s to bring the villagers their weekly fix of fried fish.

Still going today, Tuckers in Wells supplied hot fish dinners to the railway workers and factory hands of the city through the war and into the 1960s, while there are also fish and chip shops today in Winscombe, Churchill, Congresbury, Yatton and Clevedon. There are not many business models from Victorian England that still hold their own in a world where there is so much choice. From Chinese and Indian restaurants to Kebab shops, fast food burger joints we’ve never had so much selection. And yet the fish and chip bar is still as popular as when you got a cone of chips wrapped in newspaper for one penny.

Where’s your favourite chippy? Do you recall memories of fish and chip shops from years ago on the Strawberry Line? Send in your thoughts to and we can share them with our readers on the website.

Strawberry Line DIstrict fish and chip shops include these establishments:

Yatton Fish & Chip Bar. 45 High Street, Yatton, N Somerset BS49 4HJ. Tel: 01934 833 136. Oldfield Fish & Chips. 46 Brinsea Road, Congresbury, N Somerset BS49 5JG. Tel: 01934 834 342. Murphys Fishbar. 1 New Road, Churchill, Winscombe, N Somerset BS25 5NW. Tel: 01934 853200. Clevedon Fish Bar. 15 Old Church Road, Town Centre, Clevedon, N Somerset BS21 6LZ. Tel: 0127587 5539. Crabtree Fish Bar. Crabtree Park, Millcross Clevedon, N Somerset BS21 5HX. Tel: 0127587 9067. Cheddar Fish Bar. The Bays, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3QW. Tel: 01934 742 392. Tuckers. The Cliffs, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3QA. Tel: 01934 741 212 Georgies Plaice. 10-12 Saint Thomas Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2UX. Tel: 01749 679 346 Tuckers. 8 Tucker Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2DZ. Tel: 01749 674 082. Winscombe Fish Bar. 1 Sandford Road, Winscombe, North Somerset BS25 1HD. Tel: 0193484 3666. Did we miss your fish and chip bar? Email us your details so we can include them next time at strawberrylinetimes@

Above left: our cover girl Ella Monks wearing a little black dress by Wtoo (£140) style 916 from Winscombe’s Bridal Boutique at Winscombe’s fish and chip shop photographed by Elaine Turner, while above is the scene in Axbridge’s High Street when it had a chippy


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