Hello and welcome to my website.
Web-site creation date: 19th March 2009
Mac Fisheries shop posters used from 1952 - 59
NEW...MACFISHERIES FORUM PAGE. STARTED
Visit the new 'Macs Fun Page' <<Click
....play the 'Happy Families Competition where the top prize was
a Brand New Ford Transit Mk1 Sprite Luxury Motorhome.
Most recent updates:
06/02/13 : Mac Markets page: x4 Yateley.
01/02/13 : Mac Markets page: x2 Richmond
01/02/13 : New 'Unidentified Stores' page started. x6 pics added
14/01/13 : Mac Markets page: Peterborough.
14/01/13 : Mac Markets page: x6 Guildford, Surrey.
14/01/13 : Shops page. x3 Marlow, Bucks.
08/01/13 : Shops page. Notting Hill Gate.
07/01/13 : Shops page. Bridlington, Yorkshire
07/01/13 : Shops page. x2 Middlesbrough
07/01/13 : Shops page. Chigwell
04/01/13 : Mac Fisheries Forum page opened.
30/12/12 : Shops page. x2 Nottingham.
30/12/12 : Shops page. Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
30/12/12 : Shops page. x3 pics, Swindon
30/12/12 : Shops page. Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
30/12/12 : Shops page. Slough.
30/12/12 : Shops page. x3 Exeter
30/12/12 : Shops page. PeterBorough
30/12/12 : Shops page. Wolverhampton
SHOP No 1
This is where it all started - the original site of Mac Fisheries first shop - Hill Street, Richmond, Surrey.
I wonder if the plaque still survives?? C
Help! This Web-site needs your input!
My name is Colin French and I have lived in Surrey, U.K. all my life. At my ripe age of 52, Mac Fisheries shopping is just a childhood memory. Never having really had a passion for fish I remember well having to endure the horrible task of going into the Reigate Mac Fisheries shop in the High Street with my Mother so as she could buy the regular weekly fish quota for our family.
Maybe it was more than a weekly visit as my Mother was a vegetarian, I can remember the fishy smell, which I hated, and still do, and all those staring whole fish on display, I used to think that those big fish would start thrashing around at any moment, it was a visit I hated and an experience which has stuck with me since, I still hate looking at whole fish, despise the smell and cannot bare to touch them, alive or dead.
Having said this, it must seem strange how I've come to investigate this once famous British Company and create this site dedicated to it.
For me, my interest started back in 1986 when, over a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake, the subject of old vehicles came to light. Dear Mrs Dorothy Edmunds was a customer of mine, living in Hookwood, Nr Horley, Surrey. I had just emptied her septic tank system (see my links) when, as usual, she had invited me in for refreshments. She stated she hadn't driven for years and that the last vehicle she had driven was an old Morris Van which she and her late husband had bought secondhand. It had been the Reigate branch of Mac Fisheries local delivery van. She continued with the fact she had parked it in the garage and there it had stayed. It took me a while to realize she meant she had parked it in the old wooden shack of a garage which was connected to the side of her bungalow and it was still there.
I asked her if it was a Morris Minor Van, to which she replied 'I think so'. I then asked her if I could have a look at it, to which she stated that if I could open the garage doors then I was welcome. Turns out she'd driven it in there, shut the doors and hadn't even looked at it for the last 22 years. Last taxed Sept 1964 (see Photo)
I had to move around forty concrete slabs which had been stood up against the doors and cut down a small tree which was happily growing between the rows of slabs. I managed to prise open the right hand door and squeeze in. The van had been driven in and what with viewing from the back and the very low light, I did think at first it was actually a Minor van. When my eyes adjusted to the light I realized it wasn't a Minor but a Morris Z van.
My excitement must have showed to Dorothy when I emerged from the garage and she came straight out with...'well Colin, it is only rotting away in there, if you want it please take it'.
We argued for a bit, as I wanted to pay her for it, but she just kept on insisting that I take it. At the time my charge for the emptying service for her job was £18.75 and as she hadn't settled her bill yet, I said let's at least call it quits. She agreed and so it was settled that I bought her 1952 ex Mac Fisheries Morris Z van for the grand sum of £18.75.
The rest of this story continues on the 'Resto Project' , along with many high res photos.
Since that day in 1986 I have owned many Morris Vehicles including light trucks and even Military versions. I still own a 57 Morris Minor car and in 2008 I purchased a 1939 Morris 8 series E car. This car is actually the saloon version of the Z van and is the main reason for my prompting to restore the van back to its former glory.
Due to recent illness I was reduced to my bed for weeks on end and during this time I started to investigate the Mac Fisheries history on the internet. This is when it struck me that a piece of British history was missing. Considering the size of this company in it's heyday, information on the net is almost zero. I have spent many an hour, in fact a day, searching for the slightest info about Macs thus giving me the challenge to put together all what I've found to date onto this web-site.
Your help is required.......Wanted: Photographs, receipts, trade cards, packing, signs, addresses, books, posters, tin's, badges, advertising, etc, etc. In fact anything connected with Macs, including just memories of a shop etc, I would gratefully like to hear from you. If you have an item that is precious to you then maybe you could just send me a good quality photograph of it.
As I state below, there is no financial gain to this site, it is purely for nostalgia and I must point out that although I am buying small item's (mainly from ebay) I do not wish to start paying high prices for items, so if its a high value item, please don't ask if I'm interested. Most of the time a photograph and a description will do.
If you feel that you have any info, or better still any item about this lost High Street name, then please contact me. Any info will be added to the site along with your credits.
Note: There is no financial gain with this site and I will admit to obtaining photos etc from the net. Please inform me if this offends you and I will remove it.
My aim is to restore the Morris van and to show the vehicle along with all the memorabilia together at shows for The British Heart Foundation and the Cancer Relay for Life Charity all in memory of my mother who died in 2001 from this terrible disease.
I hope you enjoy this site and leave comments on the guest page and I hope many items will be located and displayed in the future years to come.
Thank you for taking the time to read this
All the best
19/01/10...Thank You Notice
I would just like to take this opportuity to thank everyone who has helped me compile this web-site over the past few months. So many people have contacted me about Mac Fisheries offering their help, along with donating their personal Macs items, photographs and even just a small email just describing a happy memory of working or shopping at a Macs branch.
I still have a great deal of information to add to the site including many more location address's, Hundreds of employees names with job titles, along with yet more photographs and letters which have been posted or emailed to me.
I will admit to: by starting this web-site back in March last year was really the wrong time for me to do so, what with preparing to move house, moving house and then everything in the new house needing to be renovated, also my business took on new avenues, I found that dedication to this site has just been snatched here and there as and when I find the time. In my defense I must also say that when I started the site I had no idea as to how much response I would get so felt that any upkeeping would be quick and easy. How wrong was I?
On the house front, things are easing up and hopefully more time will be available to keep this site up to date and to reply to every email and letter I get.
I'm not computer trained, or a web-site builder in any way and have chosen this web building format for it's ease but some of the layouts I want to do just don't work and when you lose all your data that you have just typed in it becomes very disheartening (like the employees page) especially when you are a slow two finger typist.
Just as well patience is one thing I do have a lot of.
All in all I enjoy building this site but most of all; I am astounded by all your kindness and generosity and i'm still amazed that by 2009 no-one else had constructed a web-site dedicated to such a loved and sadly missed High Street chain of shops.
Hats off to you all in 2010