The Cornish Times received a letter from, Jenny Wallis in Looe, it said:
Congratulations to Looe Old Cornwall Society for their new booklet on Georgian Looe. Beautifully designed and readable!
It commemorates the two hundredth anniversary of the publication of the History of Looe, (now available online) by amateur historian Thomas Bond.
Thomas Bond served his home town in various offices. He had access to ancient charters. His finger was on the pulse of local opinion and politics. There are fascinating mentions of fish!
‘Smoaked’ pilchards were ‘fumadoes’ but they were later salted and referred to as ‘fair maids’. Thomas Bond is suggesting waiving tax for home consumption to promote healthy eating. Fair maids were four or five a penny. ‘Boiled with a potatoe are extremely nice things. It is astonishing more of them are not consumed in this kingdom.’
Oh Thomas! Why didn’t you try frying the potatoes? Fumadoes-and-mash would never catch on. Bur fair maids-and-fries could have captured the holiday trade! But Looe was marketing the forerunner of ‘fish-and-chips’ over 200 years ago!
Can any town in Cornwall beat this claim?