Christmas Steps Bristol Bs1

A Memory of Bristol

Goddamn fish and chips!

At the very bottom of the Christmas Steps lies a building thought to date back to the 13th century, which has housed a fish and chip shop for well over 100 years. One of the first ever 'chippies' to open in England, this shop won a Best in Britain award whilst under the management of the inimitable Grace and Robert. After taking over the restaurant in 1964, the couple remained there for the next 28 years.

Grace has entertaining stories to tell about American tourists determined to lay their hands on some genuine 'goddamn fish and chips'. She recalls embellishing the truth on some occasions, leading Americans to believe she had a bed upstairs upon which Queen Anne herself had slept (which is not completely accurate!).

The tourists' fascination with antiques and memorabilia would often prompt them to make Grace an offer on anything which could be removed from the premises. She also has fond memories of the street parties that have been held on Christmas Steps, including '4th of July' parties and even a Christmas party in the middle of summer for under-privileged children (during which, I am told, Father Christmas abseiled down the side of the building).

A memory shared by Paul Townsend , on Dec 5th, 2009.

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