Harry Ramsden’s re-opens under new owners | UK news | guardian.co.uk
The world’s most famous fish and chip shop re-opens today after a speedy turnaround worthy of its colourful history. Portions of skinless haddock, mushy peas and the rest of it will be served again at Harry Ramsden’s in Guiseley which closed less than six months ago.
Around £500,000 has been invested in restoring the splendour of the diner at the junction of the roads to the Yorkshire Dales from Leeds and Bradford, a canny site which made the fortune of the original Harry whose first, takeaway-serving hut is still part of the set-up. The restaurant’s last owners, the Birmingham-based Boparan Ventures group, have kept other parts of the franchised Ramsden chain but couldn’t make a go of White Cross and its 24 staff.
The new owners, Wetherby Whaler, think differently and their instant start on repair and restoration has cheered traditionalists passing the site since January. Their vast sign has been in place for a while, although whether they will be able to persuade the world to rename such a northern icon is questionable. They may have to put up with or profit from the unofficial name of ‘Harry Ramsdens‘ for years to come.
Today’s beanfeast is expected to see members of the Ramsden family come back to see the old place, which began in 1928 and took off in its chandeliered splendour only three years later. Harry’s daughter and grand-daughter have been invited from Ireland, where they now live, along with two elderly but sprightly twin sisters from Horsforth, the next Leeds suburb but one, who have a small place in the restaurant’s history.
Mavis and Wendy Raistrick, both 80, got up early to walk the four miles to Harry’s from their home in 1952 when the restaurant marked its 21st birthday by selling fish and chips at the original prices. Their Yorkshire nous was rewarded by the first two places in the queue and the gift of commemorative cigarette lighters – how times change – from the man himself.
Strange Random Fish & Chips Quote:
“Britain is no longer totally a white place where people ride horses, wear long frocks and drink tea. The national dish is no longer fish and chips, it’s curry.” – Marianne Jean-Baptiste
- Video: Harry Ramsden’s original restaurant is a chip off the old block (yorkshirepost.co.uk)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Together (robertjhorton.wordpress.com)
- Cycle 100 Ramsden St (walney2wear.wordpress.com)
- Live music on Bournemouth seafront to mark Queen’s Jubilee (bournemouthecho.co.uk)
- A sunny Saturday at the seaside – 24th March 2012 (philbray.wordpress.com)