Whaler group throws £500,00 lifelife to fish shop treasure

Harry Ramsdens restaurant Guiseley....20th January 2010 Picture By Simon Hulme
Harry Ramsdens restaurant Guiseley....20th January 2010 Picture By Simon Hulme

Wetherby Whaler has sailed to the rescue of the original Harry Ramsden’s restaurant in Leeds with a £500,000 lifeline.

Harry Ramsden’s announced last November that it was to close its Guiseley branch - the first restaurant it opened in the UK - after 83 years in business.

This week the Wetherby Whaler fish and chip group revealed it would take over the premises and return the restaurant to its “glory days” with a £500,000 investment to reopen it in May.

Phillip Murphy, who launched the Wetherby Whaler with his wife Janine in 1989, said: “The famous fish and chip restaurant in Guiseley is the spiritual home of fish and chips in England.

“It would be a national scandal if it were to close at this time of economic uncertainty.

“Our investment has saved a Yorkshire landmark and will ensure the tradition of fine fish and chips continues at this important location.

“The new Wetherby Whaler in Guiseley will be our flagship restaurant.

“We expect it to recapture the atmosphere and flavours of Harry Ramsden’s best years.

“We are confident that with the right investment, careful attention to detail, great-tasting fish and chips and excellent value for money, we will make a lasting success of this new venture and return the restaurant to its glory days.

“Our family-owned business is built on solid foundations and this has given us the confidence to invest. It fits perfectly with our business strategy of controlled growth and accentuates our belief that Yorkshire is a great place to do business.”

And Mr Murphy added that the famous chandeliers will be updated with brand new fittings, ensuring the restaurant will deliver the same impact on 21st Century customers as it did 80 years ago.

Mr Murphy added that the Wetherby Whaler operation in the town would be unaffected.