'And finally, not everyone’s being doing topical. In fact, here’s the rather lovely 6 Oxgangs Avenue devoted to the history of the development of the area, this week highlighting how the block of flats came into being. Could have been prompted by Who do you think you are? Or just a timely reminder that not everything worth blogging about is in the here and now.'

Kate Higgins, Scottish Roundup 26/08/2012

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Rissi's Fish and Chip Shop

Throughout the 1960s Ben Mackenzie's hairdresser shop was situated on the south-west corner at the back of the Oxgangs Broadway shops, whilst Rissi's Fish and Chip shop occupied the other corner on the south-east; in between there were no shops; instead these units were used as storage areas for the shops down below. There was a lit up red/orange sign in the window which glowed on a winter's evening attracting customers in like moths to the light.

The fish and chip shop was run by two incredibly striking sisters-I assume they were called Rissi and had a strong Italian heritage? I can't recall their first names, but often when I was in the queue I would hear a name being mentioned. The sisters were in their mid to late fifties and were immaculately turned out with their grey hair worn high up on their head, beehive style-at least one of them wore stylish spectacles. I don't think they were twins, but they may have been. A man also accompanied them in the shop which was very efficiently run.

We occasionally had a fish supper on a Saturday evening and it really was a treat. It was usually during the winter and it was a pleasure to enter the warmth of Rissi's, which was a small shop and join the queue. Venturing out afterwards into the cold was no hardship when you were carrying a large wrapped up hot  bundle containing four or five fish suppers.

The lowest price I recall paying for a supper was between two shillings and two and six (two shillings and sixpence)-between ten and twelve and a half pence in modern money-can you imagine getting eight fish suppers for a quid!

I would hurry home, running downhill all the way-descending the street-lit Oxgangs Street leaving a trail of frosted breath hanging in the night air, turn into Oxgangs Avenue at the junction and seconds later be back home to The Stair to join the family at 6/2 for high tea! 

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