AS Alf Garnett (remember him?) might have put it: “Never mind all yer foreign takeaway muck like yer Chinese, yer Indian or yer Italian, nothing beats yer good old English fish ‘n‘ chips.”

Except I’ve got bad news for Alf, fish’ n’ chips owes more to “yer foreigners” than he probably knew.

But more of that later because the chippy trade in Worcester has produced some rich characters over the years and Rose Lewis, who ran her little emporium at the bottom of Broad Street in the 1960s and into the 70s, was certainly one of them.

She was not very big but her motherly appearance belied a 'No Messin' attitude to any inebriated customers who staggered through the doors late on a Saturday evening looking for a bagful of fish ‘n’ chips to soak up a bellyful of beer.

One of Worcester’s best-known chippy owners was of course 'Honky' Fletcher who had a shop in Lowesmoor for more than 50 years until he retired in 1985.

He would cheerfully recall Saturday night stories like ejecting a recalcitrant customer from his premises straight on to the bonnet of a passing car, much to the surprise of the driver, or throwing three drunken Norton Barracks squaddies into the back of a convenient police Black Maria as it pulled up for the driver to collect an order for the Deansway nick.

Inevitably 'Honky' was not his real name, that was George, but he was given it as a lad when he delivered bread at night and would drive around the city streets shouting “Honk, Honk, Honk” because his van hadn’t got a horn.

'Honky' Fletcher was so well known he is probably the only person ever to have an 'anti-obituary' carried in this paper.

That happened when he went into hospital for a serious operation and a well-meaning friend reported him dead.

The news soon spread like wildfire, leading his wife to take out a notice in the paper to say that in fact her husband was recovering well, while another in his chippy window said simply “Honky’s OK”.

Despite becoming a British tradition, fish ‘n’ chips actually has its roots abroad with both Belgium and France claiming to be the birthplace of the chip which may have been invented in the 17th century as a substitute for fish rather than an accompaniment.

When the rivers froze over and nothing could be caught, resourceful housewives began cutting potatoes into fishy shapes and frying them as an alternative.

Around the same time, fried fish was introduced into Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain.

The actual birthplace of fish ‘n’ chips as we know it is a matter of controversy.

Some credit a northern entrepreneur called John Lees.

As early as 1863, it is believed he was selling fish and chips out of a wooden hut at Mossley market in industrial Lancashire.

Others claim the first combined fish 'n' chip shop was actually opened by a Jewish immigrant, Joseph Malin within the sound of Bow Bells in East London in around 1860.

Whatever, the takeaway has contributed greatly to Worcester’s social fabric over the years and here are some of its familiar faces.

Although in a bit of a blow for Alf Garnett, Rose Lewis’ old chippy has just become a kebab shop.

You couldn’t make it up.