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Day I swapped our Smethwick family's fish and chips

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 20, 2014

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I THOUGHT I could make Bugle readers smile with my fish and chip story from my childhood days. I'm in my 70th year now.

I was ten years old at the time and mother had some back pay so she thought she would give us a treat.

All the other boys were in the army, so it was just mom, dad and myself.

She sent me to the fish and chip shop in Stoney Lane. She had put her order in on the morning on the way to Smethwick High Street, so off I went with mom telling me not to eat any of the chips on my way back home.

On the way back I met my mate Pete May from school, who was the same age as me. He asked who the chips were for, and I told him it was our tea.

I asked him what he had got and he said it was a sword from the war. I asked him if we could do a swap, so I gave him the fish and chips, thinking I had got a great deal, until I got home.

Mother said: "Son, what on earth have you got?"

"It's a sword, mum, from the war."

"And where are the fish and chips?"

I told her I had done a swap with Pete. She was not well pleased I can tell you.

She told me to take the rusty old sword back to Mrs May and get the fish and chips back.

So off I went to Mrs May. She was a big woman, even her husband was afraid of her.

She said: "Yes Munn, and what can I do for you (she could not say Mann)?

I asked if we could have the fish and chips back and I would give the sword back.

So she shouted: "Stop eating you lot." She took the sword off me and told me they had eaten some of the fish and chips but there were some left.

When I got home there was half a fish and about six chips.

Mom tried to hit me and I ducked and she broke her wrist on the wall.

She never let me go for fish and chips again.

But later on in life when we had fish and chips we would have a good laugh about that sword and the half a fish and six chips.

Geoff Mann,

The Hawthorns,

1 Portway,



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