Come winter it will be washed down and rewritten to read ‘home-made fish pies, apple crumbles, local mussels’. Originally only selling fish The Fish Shed now sells a variety of fruits and vegetables all locally grown. There will be strawberries in the summer and apples in the autumn. The apples with be speckled and uneven in size and the carrots and beans will be perfectly imperfect. You can also find locally produced honey and jam, sausages, pork pies and loaves of bread baked daily in Wells (a seaside town a few miles along the coast). What most people come here for though, is the fish.
Lobsters, crab, cockles, mackerel, mussels, sour herring, sweet herring, brill, bass, bream, hake and haddock. Almost all of it is caught locally. The mussels come from “across the road” and are picked by Mrs Bocking’s brother. Her nephew brings the lobsters and has a knack for delivering the “best lobsters around”.
I have been buying fish here since I was ten years old and eating it since I could chew. My late grandmother lived in the next village down called Burnham Market. As children we spent summers, Easter’s and long weekends here and when I was fourteen my father bought a house right in the heart of Burnham Deepdale just five minutes from The Fish Shed. As a child my Grandmother or ‘Oma’ as I called her would bring me along to help her choose the fish. Often we’d have fish pie which she’d make from scratch and if we were very lucky we’d have The Fish Shed herby fishcakes.
When I became a teenager I started walking her myself. It was and still is a bit of a ritual on mine. Even if we aren’t eating fish that day I will find a reason to come – a punnet of strawberries to eat as I walk home. Or perhaps for a small pot of cured black olives which are so good I often stockpile a few pots to bring back to London.