AN enterprising man has started a mobile fish and chip business after losing his job during the coronavirus pandemic.

Simon Mathews, 46, from Langho, had been a transport manager for 26 years before taking on his chippy tea van dream.

Simon had worked for Blackburn roof company Prefix Systems for two years before being furloughed in April, before being made redundant in August, which gave him him the time to consider starting his own business.

Simon trained with National Fish Fryers Federations in Leeds, bought a van and had it converted into a fish and chip shop.

He said: “I got this idea in my head that I wanted to sell fish and chips and my wife Helen said ‘It’s crazy, what do you know about making fish and chips?'”

“I have been trading the for the past four weeks and it is going absolutely crazy I can’t find enough slots. The demand for my fish and chips is massive.

“Everything is positive, there are no negatives. Some people are saying it’s the best fish and chips they have had in years its just blown me out the water.”

The community are enjoying Simon’s new fish and chip service with him only having received five star reviews from satisfied customers.

One customer said: “So yummy! The chips were so good and the the fish was nicely battered and wasn’t too greasy. Collection was super easy, no long wait or long queue.”

Another agreed, saying: “Tried Country Fried for the first time tonight. It was delicious! Really tasty fish with crispy batter and great chips. We’ll definitely be ordering again and would recommend to everyone!”

Simon has started trading in Hurst Green, Sabden and Langho and has recently found a site to trade from in Mellor.

After launching in second week of October, Simon is regularly fully booked for his fish and chips which operates on a pre-order appointment basis.

The appointment system is to help maintain social distancing, with two customers getting a ten minute slot where they collect the food before getting back into their car to drive home.

Simon added: “Where we live, during lockdown we couldn’t get a takeaway and we were struggling to get good food.

“I thought why don’t I look into this an take it to the villages that don’t have anything like that.

“The villages have supported us massively.”

Country Fried operates on Tuesday at Hurst Green Memorial Hall, on Wednesday from the bottom of Mellor Brow, on Thursday from St Mary’s Village Hall in Sabden and on Fridays from Langho Football Club.

Every day the van is open from 4.30pm-7pm but on a Friday, Simon stays open until 7.30pm to help the locals get their classic chippy tea.

Simon also hopes that he will be able to cater for weddings and private events on Saturdays and Sundays.