Does this chippy serve Carlisle's best patties?

SHARE THIS STORY

Pieri's patties are widely regarded as the best in Carlisle. This view is strengthened by the distance people are willing to travel for them - across the city and far beyond.

"A bloke comes from Newcastle twice a year," says David Wilson, who owns the fish and chip shop with his wife Pauline. "He used to live in Botcherby. He buys two dozen patties and freezes them.

"Three times a year I get six or seven motorbikers come from Hull. They go to the Lakes for the weekend. They always come here on the way and sometimes on the way back.

"I get people from Haltwhistle, Workington, Wigton, Annan. I had a bloke in that's lived in the pensioners' flats down the road for five or six years. He came in the other night and said 'My daughter said I've got to try your patties. I've never had one.' He's been in twice since.

"I've been on the wireless in Australia talking about my patties. They were talking about traditional foods. A lass that used to live in Denton Holme had said you'll never beat a Pieri's pattie. They phoned us up. I thought it was a wind-up.

"They've all tried to copy them, all over the town. There's quite often a debate on Facebook I believe. The wife was telling us the other night. People were saying Pieri's does the best patties. I do meat ones, cheese ones, curry ones, cheese and curry."

The recipe is, of course, a secret. David and Pauline do serve other things: fish, sausage, chicken and fishcakes. No kebabs or pizza. This is very much a traditional chippy.

David may be the longest-serving fish and chip shop owner in Carlisle - 32 years and counting. He bought the Northumberland Street business from brothers Ronnie and Freddie Pieri in 1985. "Some customers have been coming here for 50 years - maybe more," he says.

David has been here long enough to see the decline of Denton Holme as Carlisle's industrial heart. "There's 14 factories shut in this area since I've been here. Kangol, Coulthards, Bucks, the gas board, Holme Head mill, Mitchells, Kentmere, Pratchetts - that was an iron foundry. The pubs have all gone as well. Business here has gone very quiet to what it used to be."

Pieri's looks onto the site which used to house the Prince of Wales pub. This closed in 2004 and was demolished in 2009 after a fire.

"I've seen me still serving at half past one on Sunday morning with people coming in from the pubs. Now I shut at eight o'clock because it's that quiet. But there's nowt you can do about it."

The number of other takeaways in the area may also have affected business. There are Indians, Chinese, bakeries, and two other fish and chip shops. Paolo's is another long-established business while Codfather opened a few weeks ago. "It's a lot for 200 yards," says David. "There's only so much to go around."

Does he enjoy his job? "You get some good crack now and then. You still get some characters. You get some lunatics. But that's part and parcel now."

At 66 David says he has no plans to change this old-fashioned establishment into anything more fashionable. He smiles and says: "The only plan is, if I win the lottery I'll shut."

Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Debbie   Wood , Penrith Sunday, 10 September, 2017 at 5:31AM
Definitely the best patties in the world! ... My Dad introduced me to them when I was little and we both still like to partake of a Pieri's pattie now and again even though neither of us live in Carlisle any more :-)
Reply
Reply to this comment

Generate a new code
STEVEN   GRAHAM , PERTH AUSTRALIA Friday, 08 September, 2017 at 8:37AM
My first port of call whenever I get back home to Carlisle...best ever!
Reply
Reply to this comment

Generate a new code
norman   copstick , carlisle Friday, 08 September, 2017 at 7:24AM
yes denton holme used to be an industrial powerhouse employing thousands, i remember it well. now its just a run down dead zone, massive unemployment and equally massive crime rate. poverty and crime go together.
Reply
Reply to this comment

Generate a new code
Les   Brown , GILTBROOK NOTTINGHM Thursday, 07 September, 2017 at 4:54PM
I am Carlisle born & bred, patties from the pieri brothers were unbeatable, after a couple of pints in the Prince MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
Reply to this comment

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know
Read this..