Express & Star

I joined huge queues for 1p fish and chips at a Black Country chippy - it was perfect

Fish and chips for a single penny? Don't mind if I do.


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Yes, you read that right – Merchant's chippy in Halesowen was serving up portions of fresh mini fish and chips for one penny all day on Thursday.

The rather patriotic takeaway was offering the bargain meal not only to celebrate National Fish and Chip day, but also to mark the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, remembering the bravery and sacrifice of the Normandy Landings veterans.

First in the queue were Pat Williams and Barry Anderson, who queued for over an hour

Back in the 1940s, a fish and chip dinner would have cost around five pence – which, according to's conversion calculator, is equivalent to £2.63 today.

But what can you really expect from a chippy tea that costs just one humble penny? I went to find out.

Turning the corner onto Halesowen Road, I was instantly met with a queue of around 100 hungry customers. At around 1pm, the line was stretching out the door and all the way down the road for about fifty metres – it had not gotten any shorter since they flung their doors open at 12pm.

Staff members Maddison Lovell and Leoni Lambrou

Everyone looked happy, and I was not surprised. It's a great day when you're getting a practically free lunch – and a delicious one at that.

Customer Barry was the first one through the doors having got there just over an hour before. "It's costing me loads of money!" he joked.

Manager Leoni and her staff were all in high spirits and serving with a smile. She found a moment to have a quick chat and give me the low-down on the day.

A huge queue of people line up for 1p chips at Merchants Fish and Chips shop, Halesowen

"It's been going really good, we have had a turnout since around 11am onwards, it's been crazy," said Leoni, "but we are really enjoying it!"

It wasn't just fish and chips – the kebabs and sausages have also been flying out of the fryer.

"We are fully stocked up and completely ready to keep serving all day," she said.

A huge queue of people line up for 1p chips at Merchants Fish and Chips shop, Halesowen

It was time for me to dig in. The fish and chips were hot, fresh and crispy – just as you'd expect with a queue like that, the fryers were not empty for long between each batch. The batter was light but crispy with a delicious, white, soft piece of cod in the middle, and some great long chips. It made a perfect light lunch which was thoroughly enjoyable.

The chippy, which opened its Halesowen branch in 2021 and also runs a shop in Load Street, Bewdley, is donating the money made on the day to the Poppy Appeal.

Last year, the team served up half-price dinners all day to celebrate the King's coronation.

It will not be the last time I make a visit there – that's for sure.