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Christmas Steps Bristol BS1

Christmas Steps c1935, Bristol
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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).

Written by Paul Townsend. To send Paul Townsend a private message, click here.

A memory of Bristol in Avon shared on Saturday, 5th December 2009.

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RE: Christmas Steps Bristol BS1

My grandparents Tom and Sarah Richardson ran a fish and chip in Hotwells in the 1920s before moving to Wembley. It would be nice to think it was this one!

Comment from Sue Smith on Wednesday, 5th January 2011.

RE: Christmas Steps Bristol BS1

I recall the "button shop" on Christmas steps, what a vast collection. Likewise the Gaiety Pub, in which my grandparents, I was told, had an interest in the early part of 20th century. In the early 60's was a recognized "haunt" for Bristol journalists being half way between the Post and the World newspapers.

Comment from Dave Knowles on Monday, 3rd February 2014.


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