Cox's Fisheries

End of an era at the 'chippy'

Worksop Guardian

WORKSOP’S fast food Industry reaches the end of an era tomorrow when Eastgate’s Cox’s Fisheries closes down after more than 50 years’ trading.

Owner David Cox has seen countless changes in Worksop and the fish ‘n’ chip industry since his mother Jessie, who still works in the shop, and his late father Albert started the business on 12th July 1939.

Things looked bad at first with nobody to be seen for 30 minutes after the shop’s opening.


Mrs Cox was so pleased to see the first customer — a young boy — that she gave him the contents of an entire pan, chips that were sorely missed when a sudden deluge of customers flooded the shop! “They must have been waiting because the shop was then full,” said Mrs Cox.

In the early years, a two- year-old David sat watching from his high-chair while Jessie, then 23, and Albert, 26, struggled with pans heated by coal-burning fires. The outbreak of war lead to Mr Cox’s service with the REME, during which time Jessie worked to serve the people of Worksop on a fat ration that meant the shop had to close for weeks at a time.
“There was no such thing as fridges, we had to go to the ice factory down Church Walk,” explained David. “Nobody had telephones, we had to go to Victoria Square and phone Grimsby up for the fish.”
Spring cleaning at the shop recently, David found the first accounts book giving details of prices paid in the first week of trading, as recorded by his father. Nine bags of potatoes were bought for £1 12s 9d, the cheapest fish went for a penny and the first week’s takings were £10 19s 4d.


And as a final word on the chip as a health food, Jessie Cox said: “I’ve had chips every day since 1939, I’ve lived on them and I think I’m a good advert!”

The shop will re-open under new management after refurbishment and regular customers will be pleased to hear that old faces will remain with the 26 part-time staff being kept.


(Article published in the Worksop Guardian 23/2/1990)

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