Published: 00:00, 25 June 2014
| Updated: 08:14, 25 June 2014
A family-run fish bar celebrated 35 years of frying by handing one punter free chips for a year.
The McClelland family have been running Longfield Fish Bar in Station Road, for decades, having first set up the business in May 1979.
Brothers, David, 57 and Paul, 59, run their restaurant with a team of part-time staff and have been at the helm alone since their mother Doreen, retired 10 years ago.
Out of the dishes available to customers, David said that “good old cod and chips” was still a firm favourite with their clientele.
Among their very first customers was Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite, who claimed to have bought food from there on the day it opened when he was a schoolboy.
Customer care is important and this was reflected in a generous giveaway to celebrate their anniversary - with a year’s supply of chips up for grabs.
The winner, picked at random by Cllr Kite, was Roy Hill, who was entered into the draw by his wife. Unfortunately she passed away before the draw was announced and Mr Hill has since gone into a care home.
However, his son Adrian got in touch with the McClellands and they organised for Mr Hill and all the staff and residents at his care home to have free chips delivered on July 22.
David explained that despite working in a chippy for years he still enjoys a fish supper.
He said that there is a strong community ethos behind his family business.
He said: “It’s a local area here and most people that are shopping are not just passing through, they are local people from Hartley, Longfield, New Ash Green and New Barn.
“It’s important that we keep good friendly relationships with them, we’ve been here a long time.”
He explained that despite working in a bustling chippy for all these years, the brothers still get on well.
He said: “We have our moments but it’s been 35 years now, we get on a lot.”
One thing he would not divulge was the secret to his successful recipe, when asked about it by the Messenger he said: “If I told you that it wouldn’t be a secret then would it?”
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