French’s Fish Shop is celebrating nearly 100 years in
business. Marcus French, the third generation of the
family, says it is fantastic that today with lots of national
shops finding it hard in this time of economic hardship,
that small family businesses are still going strong.
My Grand father came to Wells during the First World
War and said that if he ever got through the war he
would come back to live here. Even though he was
gassed he survived the Great War and came back to Wells.
The present shop, his 2nd shop, was purchased a few
years later in 1925. Fish and chips is the great British
invention and is over 150 years old but still going strong,
with over 8,000 shops nationally.
Even in the Second World War fish and chips was not
rationed and Winston Churchill described them as
‘The good companions’. Fish is now delivered by
road rather than the railway, which was stopped
the business off
Coal fired ranges are a thing of the past
now with High efficiency ranges which
offer better control and consistent cooking.
French’s was a holder of the Seafish Quality
Award and also the first in Norfolk to be the
new National Federation of Fish Friers Quality
Award holder, also ‘Best Fish and Chip Shop
voted by the North Norfolk Guide.
Alanna French, a forth generation family
member, works at the fish and chip shop,
so the family tradition may carry on.
Fish and chips is a big part of the town and
in the summer people can be seen sitting on
the quay wall eating fish and chips, like
generations have done before. ‘Keep things
simple’ Marcus says, ‘Good quality fish, fresh
local potatoes, home made batter, good
quality frying medium, and years of
experience.’ ‘You are only as good as your
last lot of fish and chips so you must keep
moving with the times, but fish and chips will
carry on being Britain’s favourite meal
10 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH