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French’s Fish Shop is celebrating 100 years in business. The business was originally started by William Thomas French in 1921, and is still run by the same family today- Four generations down the line. 

William French had always dreamed of returning home to Wells-Next-The-Sea after serving in the First World War. Despite being gassed, he came back to Wells and opened his first fish and chip shop in 1921, which later moved to its Quayside position in 1925, where it has remained ever since. 

Marcus French, the third generation of the family, began working at the shop aged just 7 years old, where he would help to make batter and cut potatoes. As he got older, his responsibilities increased and he took over the shop with the help of his mother Myrtle French, when his father Maurice French sadly passed away. Marcus’s daughter Alanna French has also joined the business, so we hope to keep French’s going for many years to come.

Fish and Chips in Wells-Next-The-Sea

Fish and chips in Wells at the seaside has always been a great tourist attraction. Throughout the summer months, the Quay Wall opposite the shop is always lined with people tucking in to their Fish and Chips. 

Marcus says ‘Keeping things simple’ is key,  ‘Good quality fish, fresh local potatoes, homemade batter, and years of experience are what keep people coming back’. 

William French

founder of business.


Fish and Chips have long been a Great British tradition, so much so that even during the Second World War, Fish and Chips were not rationed, and even described by Winston Churchill himself as “Good companions”. There are many disagreements as to where and when the tradition originated from, however we can be certain they will be around for many more years to come!

The industry has seen many changes over the years. Some of the changes French’s has seen include that our fish is no longer delivered by rail or by boats directly to the Quayside, and the original coal fired ranges are a thing of the past with new high-efficiency equipment taking its place. 

We firmly believe that you are only as good as your last portion of Fish and Chips, so we have to keep moving with the times to uphold our renowned quality.

10 The Quayside, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH