Town mouse has fish and chips

The ancient town of Sandwich was transformed for the Open Golf Championship. Narrow streets were crowded by golfers in baseball caps and wet-weather gear, and the queue from the railway station stretched almost to New Street (laid out, as you would expect from the name, in the late Middle Ages). It had been a dreadful day.

Even the television film appeared to have been taken through the porthole of a cross-Channel ferry. Earlier, as we drove from London, I had to promise everyone fish and chips to prevent mutiny. Ramsgate harbour looked as forlorn as only a rain-lashed British seaside attraction can do. But Peter’s Fish Factory didn’t fail us, and we carried our boxes-an innovation: no more paper wrapping-home with glee. But oh, gone are the days when such treats could be consumed in a state of moral innocence.

Teenagers test and tease the conscience. Admittedly, you only have to see Ramsgate’s fishing boats, none of which stays out overnight, to know they present little danger to the fish stocks. However, reassurance can’t come until I’ve attended the conference at this year’s Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, which is all about the sea. That takes place on September 23. I hope this won’t be our last summer of eating fish.

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