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Linda cashes in her showbusiness chips

Linda Bridges who is retiring after 40 years of working at the Cottage Chippy in Blackpool. Linda has many memories of meeting famous people.

Linda Bridges who is retiring after 40 years of working at the Cottage Chippy in Blackpool. Linda has many memories of meeting famous people.

Serving chips to the likes of Oliver Reed, Jeremy Clarkson, Michael Parkinson and Les Dawson has been all in a day’s work for Linda Bridges for the last 40 years.

Linda, who works at the Cottage Chippy on Newhouse Road, Marton, will hang up her scoop for good when she retires on Friday, May 2.

Since day one, Linda has been serving up fish and chips to celebrities visiting the resort.

Her fondest memory is of a friendship she struck up with the acclaimed actor and notorious bon viveur Oliver Reed.

She said: “Oliver used to come in with his wife. He was wonderful – a real man.

“One time we were talking about when he was in the film Women in Love and there was a naked wrestling scene.

“Suddenly he went quiet and said ‘I want to stop this conversation now’.

“My daughter had just walked in and he said ‘I don’t like to talk like that in front of young girls’.

“I thought, ‘what a gentleman’.

“One time we were sitting talking. He hadn’t been drinking – we were just chatting.

“Then the press turned up. He winked at me and said ‘Linda – watch this’.

“He went to the door and started staggering all over the place.

“It was in the News of the World the next day.

“He just did it for the cameras. He was playing a game – we were all laughing.

“His wife wore the trousers. She was always saying ‘Ollie, stop that!’

“It was a privilege to have known him.”

Linda said most of her customers were lovely, but one rubbed her up the wrong way.

A young Jeremy Clarkson visited the cafe and his lanky legs were blocking the aisle.

Linda said: “I asked him twice to move his legs but he refused. He was very arrogant.”

Her favourite customers were Michael Parkinson, the Nolan sisters, Peter Kay, Steve Davis, Frankie Vaughan, Les Dawson, Alan Carr and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen: “Laurence smelled gorgeous,” she smiled.

Originally from Glasgow, Linda moved to Blackpool after a holiday in the resort. She was from a family of 22 children and her sister was already working in Blackpool.

Linda, 62, married her husband Malcolm when she was 19 and currently lives on Ambleside Road in Marton. She has three children and three grandchildren.

She added: “It has been great working here. I have loved it.”

 

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