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Martyn Oldroyd marks 30 years at Strensall Fisheries
A POPULAR fish and chip shop owner is celebrating 30 years of serving Britain’s favourite dish to the people of York.
Martyn Oldroyd, 70, says he has no intention of stepping from behind the counter of Strensall Fisheries, where he estimates he has served more than millions of portions of fish and chips since he bought the business.
“On April 18 I will have been here 30 years,” he said. “But I have been serving for 47 years altogether because I used to have a shop in Bradford.
“I saw an advert for a fish and chip in a village just outside York and we came over for a look and it had a lovely garden. There had been a lot of development in Strensall in the Seventies and we thought it was a good time to move.”
While the nation’s tastes may have changed since Mr Oldroyd fried his first fish in 1966, he still uses traditional methods and believes there will always be a place for good fish and chips.
“People are still buying fish and chips, but there is a lot of competition from other businesses now,” he said. “Friday used to be the big day, especially at Easter. You used to get them queuing out of the door and down the street.
“When I very first started I was pretty green. I went to other shops to learn how to do it and I just picked up the best bits.
“The secret is finding a good potato supplier and fish supplier,” he said.
“We get raw potatoes in and peel them ourselves then cook them.
“Some shops buy in frozen chips which I think are just tasteless.”
Mr Oldroyd said his fish and chips are cooked in beef dripping and he has no time for products fried in oil.
“Oil just doesn’t give you the right taste,” he said. “Dripping has a taste of its own and it gives it to the batter. We mix our own batter too – we don’t use a machine.”
While he now works part-time at the shop, Mr Oldroyd is making sure his expertise and experience is passed on to the next generation.
“It’s not my business now. I transferred it to my son. But I will go on as long as I can because I’m quite fit. i enjoy meeting the customers and lots of people know me.”