Unlike other institutions of central importance to working-class life, the fish-and-chip trade has not yet been rescued from what the author of this book regards as "the massive condescension of posterity." In attempting to begin this process, he traces the origins of what was by 1914 an important national industry, setting the economic, social and political context of the trade, charting its spread and analyzing its sources and methods of supply. The book explores themes like: recruitment patterns of decentralized, provincial trades; methods of working; the role of women in the food industry of the period; and the aim, and effectiveness, of trade organizations. It also provides a survey of the effect of convenient, cheap, ready-cooked food on working-class diet, health, lifestyle, economy and politics.
Extract in BBC History Magazine
The importance of the fish-and-chip trade; origins, growth and spread; fish friers and other industries; the friers and their fortunes; the nature of the business; solidarity and suspicion - organization and its limitations; consumers and communities; fish and chips in context.