Orange chips 'our invention'

Three generations of a Black Country family have claimed that they were the inventors of the ubiquitous orange chips. Dean Gilbert, 31, and brothers Brett, 32, and Dale, 19, run the Black Country Chippy in Great Bridge.

Orange chips 'our invention'

wd2461194chippy-1-pm-17.jpgThree generations of a Black Country family have claimed that they were the inventors of the ubiquitous orange chips. Dean Gilbert, 31, and brothers Brett, 32, and Dale, 19, run the Black Country Chippy in Great Bridge.

The chippy is opposite the site of Queenie's, the shop once run by their mother, and her parents before that. Dean said: "All in all the family have had a chip shop in Great Bridge High Street for about 50 years. It was my nan Margaret that started The Queen's Fish Bar over the road.

"It is known as 'Queenie's' locally and my grandad Albert soon joined her.

"The family all lived above the shop with all the children crammed in. There has been a lot of debate over the years about who invented the orange chips, but every time we have read about it in the Express & Star my grandad has been adamant that it was him in Queenie's 50 years ago," said Dean.

Albert Walls said that he started to make the chips late in evening to use up the extra batter, then the regulars would not have them any other way.

Dean said: "The batter we used was very dark, almost orange and one night he put some on the chips to see what it was like and the customers loved it.

"They insisted on having it like that every time.

"We have carried on the family tradition at the Black Country Chippy and despite the competition we have kept all their regulars. Some have been coming for years."

Queenie's was knocked down around 17 years ago, after a compulsory purchase order was placed on the building to make way for a car park, and the Black Country Chippy took its place. Dean's mum Sandra Walls grew up in the chip shop which she eventually took over from her father.

She said: "I have some really happy memories of the time. We moved to the shop when I was only 12 months old and I was so happy growing up there. It was a different business then. There were only a few batters a week and you would just go and pick up a few bags of potatoes as and when you needed them.

"There were a lot of public houses in the area at that time and people would be queuing up for chips, singing in the dark and the rain and we would throw bits of paper at them out of our bedroom window above the door when we were little."

Albert is in hospital at the moment but Sandra said that he still asks about the shop and the customers.

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