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Downham Fryer Graham Adderson is selling up to retire

PUBLISHED: 10:37 18 March 2017

Downham Fryer owner Graham Adderson is selling his award winning fish and chip shop after 22 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Downham Fryer owner Graham Adderson is selling his award winning fish and chip shop after 22 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

An award-winning fish and chip shop will be saying goodbye to owner of 22 years, a colourful character wishing to retire and enjoy the finer things in life.

The Downham Fryer in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt The Downham Fryer in Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

Graham Adderson took over the fish and chip shop and transformed it into the go-to, family-friendly restaurant the Downham Fryer - just the plaice for afternoon tea. The 70 year old said he will always have fond memories of battering cod whilst bantering with customers.

He remembered six years ago a couple walked through the doors quarrelling over an easter egg which gave him an idea he’s never tried before.

“The man forgot to get his wife an easter egg, so I asked him to get a Cadbury Creme Egg which I battered and fried for her.” Mr Adderson said.

The idea went down a treat, and whilst officially not on the menu Mr Adderson has fried Creme Eggs and ice cream for sweet-toothed customers. Another funny moment, he said, was calling the fire brigade to unbolt a table after a customer “ate so much fish and chips they got wedged in the booth”.

Downham Fryer owner Graham Adderson is selling his award winning fish and chip shop after 22 years. Picture: Ian Burt Downham Fryer owner Graham Adderson is selling his award winning fish and chip shop after 22 years. Picture: Ian Burt

The Downham Fryer has won the Seafish Friers Quality Award for Anglian Norfolk four times and the eastern England award in 2007.

Mr Adderson said the secret to his success is down to filleting and boning his own fish which he used to get fresh from Grimsby, adding: “We work hard, long hours to make this place a success.”

The former RAF Marham station hairdresser worked in the chippy with his three sons - Steven, Phillip and Daniel - before they all moved on to do their own thing.

But his eldest son Steven tragically died three years ago after he was stung by a bee and went into anaphylactic shock. He died within minutes aged 39.

Downham Fryer owner Graham Adderson is selling his award winning fish and chip shop after 22 years. Picture: Ian Burt Downham Fryer owner Graham Adderson is selling his award winning fish and chip shop after 22 years. Picture: Ian Burt

“When he died, it blew us apart,” Mr Adderson said. “I think about him every day, you wouldn’t have found a better person.”

Steven kept bees as a hobby and didn’t realise he was allergic to stings.

“I said to him at the time to give them up, they are dangerous and could kill you, little did I know what I said would come true.” He added.

Mr Adderson decided to sell the shop and spend more time with his wife Wendy and with West Norfolk charity Riding for the Disabled of which he is a trustee.

He said: “I want to thank the people of Downham for supporting me and I hope the service here stays the same.”

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