27 Front Street
Tyne & Wear
0191 272 8552
(Closed on Tuesdays)
My first encounter with fish and chips was in Front Street, Tynemouth. As a child I was sent there every Friday night to fetch the family’s three fish and two chips (salt, no vinegar) from Marshall’s Fish Restaurant.
I think I still remember a long queue and some wornout black and white floor lino in the long takeaway corridor. There was a window through which you could see the privileged people in the eating-in part, with their white triangles of margarine-buttered Sunblest and cups of tea.
I can’t actually recall the quality of the fish (a career in food criticism not being on the agenda back then) but I do remember being served by a prodigiously large woman with a short-sleeved blouse, giant flabby wings flapping as she folded up sheets of Evening Chronicle to envelope our meal.
“No thanks, Miss”.
The smell of frying oil mixed with stale female sweat was a heady combination that probably affected me for life.
I doubt that Marshall’s, which is now nothing like my childhood memory and I'm told is actually a very good chippy with lovely staff, would have put out the bunting for last month’s opening of Longsands Fish Kitchen, just up the street.