Jackie Charlton opens quirky new fish shack
Legendary England footballer Jackie Charlton officially opened a new quayside eatery in Amble and talked about his love of both catching and eating fish.
The ex footballer and manager, who is also a keen fisherman, cut the ribbon to The Fish Shack at the Sea Quest, a quirky wooden building partly made from an upturned training boat.
Jack chatted with members of the public and posed for photos before he and his wife sampled one of the homemade scones.
The shack is owned by renowned local chef Martin Charlton (no relation) who also runs The Old Boat House restaurant, where Jack and his wife Pat often eat.
As was probably to be expected with a keen fisherman and a seafood chef, the conversation rapidly moved towards fish; Jack describing one particularly big flattie he had caught in Australia. Martin promised he would enjoy one of Amble’s selection of locally caught flat fish, which he was preparing for lunch at the Old Boat House.
“I like my fish,” Jack told The Ambler. “I’m looking forward to going there next.”
“I’ve got a nice big Dover sole for you,” said Martin, “One of your favourites.”
The wooden fish shack is the handiwork of local joiner and lobster fisherman Davey Buddle. He and Martin were very pleased with the finished result.
“I’m over the moon with how it’s turned out,” said Martin. ” We’ve had great support from the Harbour Commissioners. When they asked us to do another food outlet on the harbour, to enhance the offer on the quayside, they have really encouraged us. The shack is for walkers, dog walkers, surfers, kids playing nearby, and of course, for people who love serious fish and shellfish. We’ll also be selling nice baked goods too.”
Davey was particularly pleased with the use of the old training boat Sea Quest, which was used by Amble schoolchildren to learn seamanship skills for many years.
“It was going to get smashed up, so by us using it, at least it’s still here,” he said.
“The whole thing’s taken about 18 months to finish, we had a few technical issues, but we knew what we wanted from the start and we’ve achieved it.”
It was very fitting that Jack, who already supports many Northumberland based foods, agreed to open the fish shack.
“He used to come out with the salmon boats from Amble many moons ago” said Davey.
Official duties over, Jack and Pat left to wander through the Sunday market, and to work up an appetite for the Dover sole.