Hartlepool fish and chip shops do a roaring trade on Good Friday as families head to seaside
Hoards of hungry families headed out to enjoy some fresh air and fish and chips on Good Friday.
Scores of people waited patiently in line for the Easter tradition with long queues forming at Seaton Carew seafront and also on the Headland.
Chippies reported being exceptionally busy despite the ongoing pandemic restrictions and chilly temperatures.
At Seaton, long socially distanced queues of families stretched down both sides of The Front outside takeaways including The Almighty Cod, Young’s and Fish Face.
The Almighty Cod manager Michelle Lane said: “Easter is our busiest weekend of the year.
“We expect to serve a lot more portions and have bought in extra stock.
"When the weather is nice at Seaton we are busy anyway so we are used to it. We just take it in our stride.
"It is still one in one out which we don’t mind. Everybody’s abiding by the rules and keeping their distance so it’s good.”
Demand did not let up throughout the afternoon as families headed to the seaside in their droves on the first day of the Easter weekend.
The tradition of eating fish on Good Friday goes back to the ninth century and the Roman Catholics.
As an acknowledgement and to do penance for the death of Jesus, they do not eat warm-blooded animals on Fridays.
Tradition led to it becoming a rule for Good Fridays with fish – and fish n’ chips – becoming a popular meal of choice.
A long lunchtime queue of customers also stretched down the street outside Verrills, on the Headland.
The fish shop has famously been visited previously by actor Kelsey Grammar best known from American sitcom Frasier.
People didn’t wait to get home to tuck into their food outside at both Seaton and the Headland.
Ice cream shops also did a good trade.
That was despite the temperature taking a nosedive compared to the warm sunshine we saw earlier this week.
The average temperature on Good Friday was 8C (46F). For Easter Saturday, it is due to be about the same but should stay sunny.
It will warm up on Easter Sunday reaching 12C. But Bank Holiday Monday is due to be particularly cold at no more than 5C (41F).