BILL Isherwood is frying high after winning The News’ award for the best chip shop in the area once again.
Bill’s Chippy in Waterlooville was named Chippy Of The Year by readers for the second year running.
Bill, 64, turned his old TV repair shop into a chippy in 2007, and since then, has been supplying fish suppers for people from Portsmouth to Petersfield.
‘When I got the call saying that I won for a second year, I was at a loss for words. I feel over the moon about it,’ Bill said.
‘I went in for it again hoping to win, but I thought to myself that there’s bound to be someone a bit cleverer out there.’
Bill’s Chippy, which is in Mill Road, battered 50 other chip shops in the running for the prestigious title, including nearby competitors Slater’s Plaice on London Road, Waterlooville, and The Flying Plaice on Hambledon Road, Denmead.
‘It just goes to show that we’re doing something right. My customers are the ones who voted, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank them, as well as my staff who work so hard.’
Bill, who lives in Farlington, runs a team of eight who have been known to serve about 1,000 hungry customers over an average weekend.
Customers have been known to travel across the county to enjoy Bill’s cuisine, and the boss even finds time to make a few deliveries for some die-hard fans of his fish.
Bill said: ‘I drove to an old people’s home with about 10 meals, and they were cheering when I walked in.
‘They even had a plaque on the wall with a picture of the chippy on it. I could not believe it.’
‘Some people came into the shop recently with a bottle of bubbly just to say thanks for the great fish and chips. People send us letters as well!
‘To me, that says everything. We must be doing something right.’
Before opening the chippy, Bill spent 35 years as a TV and video repairman. When the price of TVs dropped to below repair costs, Bill spent £140,000 transforming his premises.
Bill said: ‘I had to borrow money but I have paid it all back. It’s proving to me that I took the right path and that everything’s going alright.’
Bill even fancies his chances to go for the award for a third consecutive year.
He said: ‘If I get it next year, I will be even more chuffed.
‘When you go to work and you’re bored, it must be terrible. With me, it’s hard work and but it’s worth it.’