Conversation up the Albert on a Friday night turned to the great question: the mystery of the chip machine in Bath Road. Could there really have been such a thing? If so, how did it work? Who stocked it? When was it? And so on and so on … we then heard from someone who remembered it … it cost half a crown, he thinks … all else lost in the mists of time … I have contacted Remembering Rodborough and Stroud Local History Society for further information … but in the interim, I have written the below as an act of homage to what might have been the only chip machine in the world … btw, my reference to a picture at the end of the piece is about the need for a proper portrait, not a Banksyesque creation …
Is it a phantom, or is it a dream?
Could there really have been a chip machine,
Down there in Rodborough, on the Bath Road,
Not in the days of warriors and woad,
But back in the Sixties, in ‘Sixty Four,
When you paid in your money, and out of the drawer
Came the hot manna, you all licked your lips,
A bag all wrapped warm, and all full of chips.
A half crown was dear, we all know that’s true,
But where else in the world could the dream come through?
Not just mere money at a hole in the wall,
But a great bag of chips – so let’s all heed the call,
And all gather around, by Frome Hall Lane,
On Friday nights, again and again,
Down by the Bath Road’s old Language School,
Let’s pay the chips homage, won’t that be cool?
And laud the person who invented these chips,
By painting a picture of head, nose and lips,
With a caption that daintily flutters and trips:
‘The face that launched a thousand chips.’