Good Friday tradition still going strong at South Tyneside’s fish and chip shops

Queues for fish and chips on Good Friday in South Shields. Picture: Tom Banks
Queues for fish and chips on Good Friday in South Shields. Picture: Tom Banks

The traditional fish and chip lunch on Good Friday was still proving popular as people queued up at chippies across South Tyneside.

It is a day which owners of the borough’s fish and chip shops prepare for in advance - with some opening up earlier than usual to help with the crowds.

The queue isn’t as long as I thought it would going to be, but I was expecting to have to queue.

Brian McCaffery

At seafront venues Colman’s in Ocean Road and Blue Marlin’s based within Ocean Beach Pleasure Beach, people gathered in queues, waiting longer than normal to get their hands on the traditional dish.

It was the same story for most fish and chip shops in South Tyneside.

Brian McCaffery from Hebburn had been down the seafront with his wife and two grandchildren. He was stood in the queue outside of Colman’s for the families fish and chips before they were to set off home.

He said: “We pretty much come down every year on Good Friday and we often come down on a weekend when they weather improves.

“The queue isn’t as long as I thought it was going to be, I was expecting to have to queue.

“We always come here as the food is lovely.”

The tradition of eating fish on Good Friday goes back to the ninth century and the Roman Catholics. As an acknowledgment and to do penance for the death of Jesus they do not eat warm-blooded animals on Fridays. Tradition led to it becoming a rule for Good Fridays with fish becoming the common meal of choice.