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The Empire Fish Grill and the Empire

Muriel Batty (nee Hird) has many fond memories of The Empire Fish Grill, her family's business in Whitby Street. The shop will also be remembered  by many of Hartlepool's townsfolk.

Muriel was 13 at the start of World War 2 and as there was little school at the time, she began to help her mother in the fish shop and remained there until 1977 when it was demolished. The Empire Fish Grill was always popular but never more so than when there was a good 'turn' on at the Empire Theatre in nearby Lynn Street. Not only would the public call in after a house finished but often the acts would too.  The family always knew how busy they would be depending on who was 'on' at the theatre. Max Bygraves was one she recalls always meant a packed house and good business for them.

Bobby Thompson was at the Empire a number of times and would always shout out, 'Is me fish ready?' and would then depart fish in hand to the Black Lion opposite for a pint. They did well when there were two 'houses' she remembers.

It was a real family business as Muriel's brother in law had the Hygienic Fish Grill in Shrewesbury Street and her sister another fish shop in Elwick Road.

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