When Terry Weightman went into partnership with his brother-in-law Richard Hogg and turned a run down fish and chip shop in Wirksworth into a smart fish and chip restaurant he almost certainly didn't think he would still be filleting fish more than fifty years later - but that is what makes the Crest of the Wave businesses a part of the great British fish and chip tradition.
The Hogg and Weightman partnership began in November 1954, the restaurant soon acquiring a fresh fish annexe and a fish round in the surrounding area. In those days boxes of fresh fish were collected from Cromford railway station early in the morning, washed, filleted and put out ready for sale. After a day in the van selling fish it was home for tea for Terry before putting in a shift until midnight at the fish and chip shop.
Three years later the restaurant in Grosvenor Road in Ripley was purchased, followed a year later by the business in Heanor's Market Place. Eventually the Wirksworth site was sold allowing Richard and Lorna Hogg to run the Ripley restaurant with Terry and Margaret at Heanor.
These businesses were the foundation of the tradition for quality, value and service evident today. The Grosvenor Street business moved to the present site in New Street, once a cycle works before becoming the first Chinese restaurant in the town in 1960.
Other businesses were added before the decision was made to retain just the Ripley and Heanor sites and to concentrate on giving customers a quality product with personal service.
Richard (known to most people as 'Ted') retired in 1982 and the business was renamed Weightman Catering Services, run by Terry, Margaret and son Cris. A programme of refurbishment and improvements to the restaurants followed, including the introduction of self filtering frying ranges. Throughout the changes Terry and Margaret continued to greet their customers, most by name or with affectionate nicknames!
Terry and Margaret, despite being well past retirement age, are regularly seen working in the restaurants. Terry's lifetime of experience with fish is valued at Ripley as he prepares fillets and his famous cod slices daily while Cris does the same at Heanor. All the cod sold by Crest of the Wave is hand sliced daily with the potatoes also hand peeled and eyed to ensure quality.
The business we see today, ably run by Cris, providing Derbyshire's finest fish and chips is a testament to the drive and hard work of Terry and Margaret and is worthy of being called a 'great British tradition'.