Fishmongers are on their way back and now the first one is opening up at a motorway service station.

Frank Phillips will be selling his cod, plaice and bass at a new service station on the southbound route between Gloucester and Stroud on the M5.

Thea 67-year-old once ran a mobile fish van and has come out of retirement to run the shop.

His motorway fish shop will only stock fish caught sustainably in UK waters off small scale British fishing boats landed in Newlyn, Cornwall.

Phillips said: ‘I wanted to be the world’s first motorway fishmonger, as I feel there’s a real scope to revive the art and reinvent the fish counter.

‘Lots of generations of shoppers don’t know or appreciate native species like Cornish sardines, ling or pollack.’

The owners of the new service station say preference is being given to traditional community businesses rather than large chains.

Phillips will also be training fishmongers at the service station to pass on his art to a new generation. He also believes it will help re-educate the public about the delights of buying and cooking fresh fish.

‘I left school at 15 and worked with my father in our family grocery store, which my grandfather founded in 1935, before becoming a fishmonger,’ he said.

‘In that era, service to the customer was everything. Fishmonger is a skilled trade and one that is in my blood.

‘I like the close links with suppliers, respect the hard graft of the fishermen and I feel like I’m passing on my skills and experience to a new generation of both shoppers and fishmongers. It’s an exciting prospect.’

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