Wedding Photograph of Norton Fish and Chip Shop Family, 1948

t14243This photograph shows what was possible at a time of severe rationing around 1948.

It shows some of the people at the wedding of Peggy Davidson, whose mother owned the Regent Fish and Chip shop across from the Modern.

Peggy is at the centre and marrying Wilf. Next to Peggy, is her father Ernie Davidson, a really nice chap. Then there is his daughter, Joyce. Sitting down is Jessie Peacock, a real live wire, and the daughter of Mary Peacock, who looked after and lived over the Regent. I (Fred Starr) am standing next to Jessie.

On the other side of Wilf stands a  delightful looking Jean Peacock, holding a bunch of flowers. I am not sure about the group next to Jean , but I am fairly certain that the little boy is Reg Davidson, and I suspect that it is his mother and father behind him.

My mother, Frances McGlade, made the page boys outfits for Reg and myself,  and almost certainly made the flowered dresses and might also have done the other ones too. I guess this is one reason why I am in the photograph.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

6 thoughts on “Wedding Photograph of Norton Fish and Chip Shop Family, 1948

  1. Frank Mee highlights something that is constantly omitted in WWII stories, that thanks to the courage of our fishermen, a mainstay of the working man’s sustenance, fish and chips were never on the ration.

    My mother, Frances, who used to do the chips and cut the fish at the Regal, was able to bring home fish at least twice a week. I suspect it was because of this I was one of the taller boys in our class at Portrack Primary, although not being able to be athletic. The tallest lad in the class was John Atkinson, whose family owned a fish and chip shop, just off Portrack Lane, in Elliott Street.


    • Those of us who went through the war Fred realised not all the hero’s were in the forces, without the work of millions of people working on war work and the everyday things that were normality to us the Country would have ground to a halt. The ladies working long hours in the fish shops the coalminers steel makers and dad taking loads of shell casings from the steel mills to the ammunition factories on his truck all played their part as well as Mother keeping the lights on as an electrician at Goosepool where the Canadians set off night after night to Bomb Germany.
      It was a far different world where girls from an early age knitted socks and gloves for the Forces at school and home. Girls were taught by their elders to make things from old material or even parachute silk, (many a pair of knickers were made from that), meanwhile we boys were being trained as the next lot of cannon fodder as it was expected the war would take longer than it did, we still had the far East after Germany was done.
      It meant the children of the age grew up with a confident attitude, boys and girls. At the School Hall and Church Hall dances I went too the girls did not hesitate to ask the boys to dance and it was the same when I started dancing in the big boys halls the Palais Maison and Jubilee with so many girls and a shortage of boys it all seemed natural to us.
      Somewhere along the line it all ground to a halt, I blame the Beatles, everything we had known ended and the “me me” world began, the reliance on Government to hold your hands and guide you through the H&S world where kids have to wear eye protection to play conkers.
      OK I have lived too long I will get my coat.


  2. Wonderful what could be achieved in Wartime and during the Austerity afterwards. The Regent or the Avenue fish shop as it was more locally known was among the many fish shops that made the war lighter for us all, Fish and chips were never rationed even when things got worse after the war. Considering the Fishermen had to go out into the often Stormy North Sea in danger from German Planes probing the Coastal defences, mines and even Motor Torpedo Boats they were very brave men who did a hard job for little recompense. Fish and chips were always a plentiful and cheap meal.
    My Memory was Cycling down Norton High Street to the Avenue to get the meal for the family at least twice a week, at least we had our own Small Holding so rationing hardly affected us but some families lived on fish and chips. Where Fathers were away in the forces or like the Mothers on War work the children lived on what was available and that was often a bag of chips and scraps, many of the Factories had canteen to feed the workers or they went to British Canteens and got a cheap but good meal, the children grew up on fish and chips.
    Weddings were a big thing and many Brides got Married in the same dress, altered many times and the decoration changed for each bride. My Mother a Dressmaker would alter those dresses as did Fred’s Mother, the food would be provided by many households digging into their stored goods we all had them during the war, no sell by dates, at the end of the war we had a feast from goods that had been stored since 1939 and I am still here, goes to prove how much we waste today.
    I did know some of the people in those pictures and also knew them to be very handy at make do and mend, most of the girls could sew and knit often made their dance dresses during the war and after, my Dance Partner Josy who later married a Pal Billy McGlade was always smartly dressed. It was a time when we were all in it together and all pulled together.
    In these days of expecting the Government to hold our hands for everything it makes me wonder what happened to that spirit we all had.


  3. This is a bit late but young Reg Davison’s sister was Pauline. She was a couple of years younger than me. So she would be around 72 I would guess.


  4. The driving force behind the Regent Fish and chip ship was Maggie Davidson, who was the sister of my grandma.

    Her husband, Ernie Davidson (Uncle Ernie to me) ran a taxi, in the time before there were minicabs and when most people had land line telephones.

    Uncle Ernie was vey important to me. He had a stack of encylopedias dating from just before the First World War in his garage at No 1 Newlands Avenue, Norton. Although I was only nine years old, he got to know that I was interested in science and showed them to me. Eventually he passed the complete collection on.

    Because of this background I acquired in Science, when I got to Richard Hind, the shortcomings I had in other subjects were overlooked, and I got a lot of encouragement from Pa Dee and Mr Bayliss.

    Very sadly, Ernie Davidson was diagnosed at a late stage with stomach cancer and died when comparatively young, in his late fifties. This was very sad end for a veteran of Gallipoli, where he had been badly wounded in one of his buttocks.


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