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Historic blue plaque erected to Harry Ramsden
8:00am Friday 29th June 2012 in Local news
A newly-opened restaurant on the site of the former Harry Ramsden’s has been acknowledged as a piece of fish and chip history with the unveiling of a Heritage Blue Plaque.
The plaque, commissioned by Aireborough Civic Society, has been mounted outside the main entrance of the Wetherby Whaler.
It details the life of Harry Ramsden, who opened his first fish and chip restaurant on the site.
The restaurant once served a record number of portions of fish and chips as crowds made it one of the most popular eating establish-ments in the UK.
From Guiseley, Harry took his ‘famous fish and chips’ nationwide.
The restaurant also attracted star names, including Margaret Thatcher, who visited during her 1979 and 1983 election campaigns.
The former Harry Ramsden’s has undergone a £500,000 refurbishment designed to bring the restaurant up to date, while maintaining the atmosphere it was renowned for. The famous chandeliers have been updated with new fittings.
Janine Murphy, owner of the Wetherby Whaler with husband Phillip, said: “This famous fish and chip restaurant in Guiseley is the spiritual home of fish and chips in England.
“It is only fitting that Harry Ramsden is commemorated in this way at the restaurant where he made his name.
“His daughter and granddaughter attended our official opening and assured us that Harry would have wholeheartedly approved of the refurbishment we have carried out.
“We are very proud of the history of our newest restaurant, but also focussing on ensuring a long and successful future.”
Clive Woods, chairman of Aireborough Civic Society, said: “Harry Ramsden is synonymous with fish and chips, and this was his original restaurant.
“It is fitting that the blue plaque celebrating his achievements has been placed here.
“The Civic Society is extremely pleased that Harry Ramsden’s now has a bright future. We are keen that the best of our traditions, buildings and heritage of our area are not lost, but are there for future generations.”