THERE can’t be many TV repair men who can boast of being a world-class fish and chip fryer.
But Bill Isherwood can.
The 62-year-old’s shop, Bill’s Chippy, has been voted by readers to be the best in the area in The News’ Chip Shop of the Year competition.
Amazingly, Bill spent most of his life – 30 years of it – repairing televisions and video recorders.
But he has spent the last eight years mastering the art of making the perfect fish and chips.
Bill converted his repair shop in Mill Road, Waterlooville, into a chippy eight years ago and has never looked back.
The dad-of-six and grandfather-of-two said: ‘I had the shop but it was repairing TVs and videos.
‘For TVs and videos you can buy them now cheaper than it is to repair them.
‘I got to the stage where I wanted a change. I completely gutted the shop and got permission from the council to turn into a chippy.
‘I went from there and haven’t looked back.’
Bill employs five staff and the emphasis is on the quality of the ingredients.
His meticulous approach certainly pays off as he has people travelling from Denmead and Petersfield to eat his food, which also includes burgers and kebabs.
He said: ‘Over the years it’s been a lot of hard work from us to make sure everything is perfect – and if it’s not, we don’t do it.
‘We make sure we buy the best potatoes and fish and keep our prices right and make sure our customers are looked after 100 per cent.
‘Customers come first in this shop and it seems to have paid off.’
Bill, who hails from Leigh Park, said the transition from his old career had been ‘very big’, but he did his homework.
He said: ‘I learnt myself.
‘I spoke to other people in the trade and learned what to do and what fish. After about eight months you soon pick up what to do and what to buy.’
Bill said he enjoys being part of the community.
On getting the award from readers of The News, he said: ‘It’s very good.
‘It makes us proud. I do about 70 hours a week and it’s paid off.
‘I get a lot of satisfaction from doing something good for people.’