Monday, March 12, 2012

fish and chips from Ray Gray

hi there

it is with some pride that i mention my Uncle Trevor has become quite the keeper of history of the village we both forever refer to as home, Great Ayton. he has solicited and gathered numerous pictures of the place over the year, and shared them over on the grand social network.

not everyone, however, is a participant of the grand social network. the more paranoid members of society in particular wish to have nothing to do with it, believing it to be some sort of CIA inspired or led data obtaining scheme or other such rubbish. this being the case, some recent pictures put there are too good to leave to only those who registered to see it, and thus i felt a need to share them here too.

behold, if you will, the inside of Ray Gray's fish and chip shop!

wow, the memories that come flooding back! not only from seeing those two again, but also for seeing those one or two things in the picture that i recall from childhood - the 'Karate' sign in particular, it has to be said! i cannot spot it, but there was as i remember a "dancing monkey" on the shelf too, or one of those toy monkeys with cymbals, a little like the infamous one out of the film Euro Trip.

my regular order from there would have been a bag or two of chips and, of course, scraps, assuming there were some by the time i got there. those of you who have no idea what scraps are clearly have not visited a proper chippy, i suggest you search and seek out this fine food!

over on the social network, Uncle Trevor has spoken of his enthusiasm for battered sausage from there after doing his selfless duty of being social down in The Buck, a fine pub around the corner and down the road from Ray Gray's. i must confess to have never trying this, i shall then not quibble with Trevor's view that it was the best sausage he ever nibbled on.

and how i fondly recall getting their. it was either a walk across the Beck on the footbridge down on Low Green from Grandma and Grandad, or a bike ride down from Scotta House if staying up at Gran and Gramps. it was an exceptionally popular place; the queue was often a "snake" of two rows and then out the door of a very narrow corridor. so narrow, as i remember, that i doubt someone of my size could now stand two deep in it!

i thank kindly the relative of Ray who provided the above two pictures.

the above of course has, sadly, all gone now. in either 1990 or 1991, after many years of loyally serving the village, enough was enough for Ray, and he took to a life of much deserved and much earned retirement. i do recall bombing down on my bike to buy my last ever bag of chips from Mr Gray, i believe i got an order for me and Gramps whilst Gran was off at darts.

the chippie under the new ownership was, as is so often the case, a disaster. the prices double and the portions shrank, and the food just did not taste as good as the world had come to expect. i only went the once, so i have no idea when the new owner eventually closed down. i cannot imagine he was around for too long.

thanks to the magic of that google earth street view thing, i can see how the street where Ray Gray's once proudly stood, and it seems that it currently has no one serving anyone a thing.

that does make me a touch sad, really. that's another part of my life wiped off the surface. oh well, you can never go back, but that should not stop one from, every now and then, looking back.

it would be my most sincere and earnest hope that anyone reading this page in isolation from the rest of my blog is doing so because they had an out of the blue fond memory of Ray Gray's and simply stumbled or googled upon it. if you are such a reader, please then know that you are not alone.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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