Film ID:
YFA 3109



Visitor Tabs


A documentary made by Betty and Cyril Ramsden, this film features Bryan’s Fish and Chip shop located in Headingley, Leeds.  This film includes footage of the local shop and Lowestoft Harbour where the fish is processed before reaching the shop. 

Title:  ‘Frying Tonight’

The film opens at Bryan’s fish and chip shop in Headingley, Leeds, where Bryan is mixing up the batter.  He dips the fish into the batter before the fish is placed into the fryer.  Next, he places peeled potatoes into a chipping machine.  A sign in the shop states: ‘We are now frying Best North Sea Cod 1/6 per portion.’  Bryan takes the cooked fish out of the fryer and then places it in a heated compartment to keep the fish warm.  A smartly dressed boy comes into the shop and is served fish and chips which have been wrapped up to take away.  In the meantime, a long queue has formed behind him.  Another customer unwraps his fish and chips and eats it with his fingers.

Intertitle:  ‘Between mouthfuls, do you ever ponder over the labour (apart from catching the fish) which precedes ‘frying tonight’’ 

A fishing boat arrives at Lowestoft Harbour along with other fishing trawlers.

Intertitle:  ‘Fishing vessels come from Belgium, France and other countries use Lowestoft to land their catches.’ 

On the fishing vessel, the fishermen repair the nets.

Intertitle:  ‘The fish is unloaded early in the morning and sold by auction, after which the work of the day begins’  

On the quayside, men fillet the freshly caught fish before throwing them into a metal barrel, or a kit, on scales.  There is more filleting, this time of plaice.  Again the fish is weighed in kits, and there are also wooden kits.  The men pack the fish into wooded crates.  The crates are then topped up with ice, nailed down, wrapped tightly in wire, and stacked up.  The full metal kits are loaded onto a truck and labelled ‘Bird’s Eye,’ and large blocks of ice are loaded onto a boat, ‘Explorator.’  Finally, the men wash the empty kits with a hose and brush before stacking the kits.   Watermelon Man.

Back in Headingley, Cyril Ramsden walks down a street while eating fish and chips out of a paper wrapping.  He stops at a gate which says, ‘Mind the Step’ ‘ Mr D C Ramsden, LDS Leeds, dental Surgeon’, tosses his disused wrapping over the fence, and walks off.

The End