Norwich chippy Gerald West’s 50 years of frying in Spencer Street

He has been frying fish and chips for half a century and at 75 years old Gerald West has no intention of retiring anytime soon.

Mr West, of West Fish and Chips in Spencer Street, Norwich, said the reason he has stayed in the trade for so long is because he just loves fish and chips and all the customers he has met over the years.

However he said it could all have been a very different story – because as he was starting out all those years ago he was also offered the chance of an ice-cream van but decided to stay with fish and chips.

Mr West, who is originally from Bunwell and has two daughters and five grandchildren, said: 'I still love frying fish and chips. I love the job as much as I did when I first started 50 years ago, and there are not many people that can say that about their jobs.

'My customers are more than customers to me, they are like friends. I have got customers who have been with me from day one and they still come and buy fish and chips from me. I would like to thank all my customers old and new.'

After serving in the RAF and spending some time driving lorries Mr West started up his own fish and chip van which he drove around the Wymondham, Hempnall and Long Stratton areas. After three years he opened his Spencer Street fish and chip shop and has been there ever since. He also ran Neptune Fish Bar in Earlham Green Lane for 27 years and for about 15 years he also grew his own potatoes at Hapton, near Long Stratton.

When Mr West first started out he sold a portion of fish and chips for the equivalent of 6p in modern money; today it costs �4.30 for cod and chips.

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Do you know somebody celebrating a lengthy period of service in their trade? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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