UKs oldest chippie named at last as historians answer age-old question

A fish and chip shop has been officially declared Britain’s oldest – after historians finally proved it has been in existence for 127 years without a break.

The National Federation of Fish Friers wanted to end a row over the nation’s longest-running chippie, so it hired a historian to look into it.

Now, Two Steps in Sheffield has been declared winner – beating rivals in Stockport and Glastonbury to the crown.

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Two Steps opened in 1896 while Queen Victoria was still on the throne. It was so-named because at the time there was an army barracks down the road and five nearby fish and chip shops.

Owner Laggy Kafetzis, 58, who has run the chippie since 2002, said: “The soldiers used to say, ‘go to the one with two steps.”

He has more than four decades of experience frying fish and has also run shops in Weston-Super-Mare and Birmingham.

Two Steps was opened by James Bolton, with the earliest year of trade 1896.

By the early 20th century, it had passed into the hands of a Mr Ward, who ran it with his son.

It was later taken over by the Coles sisters, who took it on throughout the First World War before selling it in 1925 to the Hardy family.

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The shop has changed hands many times since then, with its longest-running tenants being Nan and Graham, who ran it for 34 years until the 1980s and are still fondly remembered by some customers.

In second place is Seashell in Stockport, which records show opened in 1897 – a year after Two Steps.

And in third place is Knights in Glastonbury, Somerset, now run by the Mitchell family, which began frying in 1901.

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The historian working on behalf of the NFFF said: “There is a possibility that this new evidence will be disputed, but there must be a point when the results are just accepted, otherwise the competition could run indefinitely.”

Andrew Crook, of the NFFF, said it finally put to bed the argument over which shop is the longest running without a break.

He said: “It’s important that we protect independent fish and chip shops as they are a huge part of our culture and heritage.

“It’s great to finally know which shop is the oldest.”

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