A SOMERSET family is celebrating 110 years in the fish and chip trade this month - with a special offer for customers who could buy their dinner for 5p.

Knight's fish and chip shop, in Glastonbury, is marking the anniversary on October 29 by offering loyal customers the chance to purchase their chippy tea at 1909 prices.

The shop has been in what became the Knight family ever since it was opened in 1909 by Mary Louisa Phillis and her business partner Mrs Hockey.

It got its name in 1932 when Mary's daughter, Louie, took on the shop with her husband, Frank Knight.

And there it has stayed.

"It's always been on the same premises," said Charlotte Mitchell - nee Knight - who now runs the restaurant with husband, Kevin.

"Frank and Louie lived here, just the front part of the building was the chip shop and the back was accommodation."

Somerset County Gazette:

Frank and Louie Knight in the shop

After Frank and Louie came their children, Bill Knight and Iris Look, with Bill as the face of the shop for more than 15 years until Charlotte and Kevin took over.

Behind the counter now, visitors are more likely than not to encounter a member of the Knight family, with Louie's great-great-grandchildren - George and Claire Morey - among those working at the shop - along with Bill Knight's sons and daughter, Izzy Knight.

Somerset County Gazette:

George and Claire Morey with grandad Bill Knight, centre

George is the manager of the Northload Road restaurant, which has come a long way from the counter-only operation of the early 20th century.

"Louie used to have a signature dish," he said.

"She used to make faggots and people used to come in their droves to get them and stock up for the weeks ahead."

And while the shop has moved with the times, extending the premises to include a sit-in restaurant alongside the traditional fish and chip counter and initiatives such as gluten-free Thursdays.

But George said the family has always been determined to stay true to their roots.

"Fish and chips is quintessentially English," he said.

"It's something to try when you come to Glastonbury and we get a lot of people visiting from all over the world.

"We are a bridge to take fish and chips across the world.

"But as the fish and chip industry evolves, with people doing everything, we are primarily about - and always will be - fish and chips."

And what amazing fish and chips they are, with the restaurant winning countless awards over the years, including being named among the UK's top10 shops in this year's National Fish & Chip Awards.

But on October 29, 2019, between 5pm and 8.30pm, the shop will take a step back in time, offering loyal customers take-away only fish and chips for 5p - roughly the equivalent of the 1 shilling price tag of 110 years ago.

To qualify, customers must spend at least £12.40 on take-away food from Knight's before October 29, 2019 to be given details of how they claim their cheap meal.

And with no end in sight for the Knight fish and chip dynasty, the family is looking forward to taking the name into the future.

"I was born here so it is in my blood," Charlotte added.

"My dad (Bill) still lives next door in the house I was born in so yes, it is definitely in the blood."

Somerset County Gazette:

George Morey, Claire Morey, Charlotte Mitchell and Kevin Mitchell with Craig Maw, NFFF quality award assessor

Knight's Fish & Chip Facts:

  • It is believed Knight's could be the world's oldest family fish and chip shop still at the original premises
  • George and Claire Morey are the fifth generation to run the shop
  • During the Second World War, fish and chips were not rationed, with queues at Knight's often trailing down the street
  • Frank Knight used to collect fish for the shop from Glastonbury train station - delivered from Burnham-on-Sea - before it was gutted, filleted and prepared at the shop
  • Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis visits three of four times a year, and went to school with owner Charlotte's father. "He always asks after my dad - and my mum," said Charlotte.
  • Other celebrity visitors to Knight's include Nicholas Cage, who is believed to have a home in the area

Somerset County Gazette:

Queues at the shop in the late 70s, early 80s

Somerset County Gazette:

The shop front in the 1950s

Somerset County Gazette:

Louie and Frank Knight with their son, Bill

Somerset County Gazette:

Take a trip down memory lane in the rear courtyard