Cardiff fishmonger crowned best in Britain

CARDIFF fishmonger E Ashton Ltd almost swept the board at the 2014 British Fish Craft Championships at the weekend.

Staff from the 200-year-old Welsh fish business took first, second and third place as this unique contest came to the Grimsby area for the first time, taking over part of the beach at nearby Cleethorpes.

The overall champion was Kevin Todd, with Mike Crates, who won it last year coming second and Nick Wood, also a previous winner, taking third spot.

There was also family delight for Gary Hooper, a former past president of the National Federation of Fishmongers, which organises the three day contest.

His 18-year-old son George, who trains fishmongers for Tesco, took fourth spot. Gary, who is the contest organiser, told Fish Update: ‘I felt very proud for George.’

E Ashton Ltd, which declares itself as a proud member of the Federation, was established in Cardiff in 1800, and has been in the city’s Central Market since 1890.

Up until 1973 the business was owned and run by the Ashton family, when it was acquired by the Adams family. It has only had three owners since in its 200-year history.

Hooper said: ‘This is the first time we have come to the Grimsby and we were delighted with the turnout.

‘The weather was also kind to us. Hundreds of people came to watch throughout Sunday and were more than impressed with what they saw.

‘Many of them were visitors to Cleethorpes so it was good to be able to show off our craft and what fish is all about.’

The championships will be returning to the area next year for the World Seafood Congress, which is being held in Grimsby.

‘We haven’t finally decided if we will stage it in Grimsby or Cleethorpes’, added Hooper. ‘But judging by the success of this year I think we may well keep it in Cleethorpes. We enjoyed a very successful weekend.’

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