‘Racist’ Padiham chip shop banner taken down after threats

4:00pm Thursday 15th May 2014

By Sophia Rahman

A CHIP shop sign branded ‘racist’ for announcing its owners were English has been taken down following threats to ‘burn it down’.

Paul Bradbury and his wife Rachel took over the Chippy On The Green in Hapton Road, Padiham, in August last year.

They hung a banner outside which said ‘Under new management with English owners’.

During the following fortnight, Mr Bradbury said he received two threatening phone calls from people calling him racist.

The couple left the shop and moved back to Liverpool earlier this year, and owner Sotos Orfanides adapted the sign to read ‘Under new management with English meals’.

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Mr Orfanides, who is originally from Cyprus and also owns a Greek restaurant in Liverpool and rented the Chippy On The Green to Mr and Mrs Bradbury. He said: “I don’t think the original sign was racist, but there was a big thing about it being racist. No one is racist in this shop.

“They were English and they were serving some English food.

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“I changed the sign because people were calling and threatening to burn the shop down.

“I care about the business, so I changed it.

“Paul and Rachel went back to Liverpool because of the threats. They were not racist.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said at the time of the threats: “Police officers from the Padiham neighbourhood team went to the shop after becoming aware of the threats.

“The owner told officers he did not want to pursue the matter and so we can’t take any further action.”

The shop was reopened last week after a refurbishment and is being managed by one of Mr Orfanides’ relatives.

Gordon Birtwistle, MP for Burnley, said: “They are now advertising what the shop sells.

“I’m not interested in who is selling the food, just what they are selling.”

The shop used to sell English and Chinese food, kebabs and pizza under Mr and Mrs Bradbury but is now going to mainly sell fish and chips.

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