Prince Charles kicks up a stink over closure of 'smelly' kipper smokehouse

Walter Purkis and Sons, a family-run fishmongers in Crouch End, faces closure after a single local resident complained about the smell from the shop's smokehouse. But Prince Charles, defender of traditional food production, has stepped in.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander

Walter Purkis and Sons is a 133-year-old Victorian smokehouse, situated on London's Crouch End Broadway. The fishmonger is one of the oldest of its kind in the UK, survived a Luftwaffe bomb during the Blitz, and has battled competition from a raft of local supermarkets. But the shop, which is still run by the Purkis family, could finally be put out of business by a single complaint from a local resident, who found the smell of smoking kippers offensive.

According to the local council, the complaint put Walter Purkiss & Sons in in breach of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Air Act 1993. Last month, the smokehouse was told it would have to close.

Luckily for the Purkises, Prince Charles caught wind of the shop's plight and has decided to intervene. The Prince is a great advocate of traditional and organic farming and food preparation - Walter Purkis and Sons smokes fish using using oak chips and recipes handed down from at least six generations, without the need for additives and colouring - and His Royal Highness is determined to keep the business going.

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