It was Dick Emery, was it not, who coined the phrase "Ooooh, you are offal, but I like you." Much the same thought may have occurred to Mrs Doreen Johnston upon reading last week's musings on the tripe of a lifetime. Particularly we had recalled United Cattle Products' celebrated emporia in Lancashire. "What memories you conjure up," writes 80-year-old Mrs Johnston from Acklam, Middlesbrough. Grahame Lardner, her father, was manager of the UCP restaurant near Blackpool Tower from 1933-39. "The factories used to empty out for trips there, parties by arrangement," she recalls. "At the front of each restaurant was a little tripe shop with horrible coloured things like pigs' feet and cow heel." Her late husband - "a proper Blackpool lad" - cooked tripe at home, which she'd eat with vinegar at supper time. "Quite nice," she says, though family loyalty persuades no greater enthusiasm than that. Her father then opened his own Blackpool restaurant - the Windsor, named after the Duke. When last she was over there it was the Majestic and still going along royally. Lese-majesty, however, there were no tripe and onions to be had. Paul Dobson, now in Bishop Auckland, recalls lunch at the UCP restaurant in Oldham before a Sunderland match in the 1970s. "We had a good laugh at the menu, which basically consisted of every part of a cow, sheep or pig cooked in every way imaginable." Paul had pigs' trotters, served by the same black and white starched waitresses we mentioned last week. "I've had tripe since, boiled in onions and milk at home, and pickled on darts and doms night at the Lonsdale in Jesmond before Jesmond became the place for a big night out." He preferred the boiled version. "Its pickled cousin," adds Paul, "felt like it wasn't quite dead."
• Source: www.thenorthernecho.co.uk
Of all the scenes from my early childhood that I am still able to remember, one of the oddest is having lunch with my mother in the UCP Cafe when I was six. Ashton-Under-Lyne, on Manchester’s fringes, had two cafes to speak of, Booths and the UCP. Booths was off-limits, as Mum had once found a hairline crack in a teacup there, and her Methodist abhorrence of unexpected microbial life had her gagging whenever the word "Booth" was subsequently mentioned. The UCP on the other hand, was perfectly respectable, even if its initials did stand for United Cattle Products. Northern English in extremis, the UCP Cafe doubled as a butchers’ shop, specialising in offal - tripe, cow heel, black pudding, pigs trotters, lamb’s fry, tongue, brains, elder (pressed udder) and something called wessel, which looked like soggy industrial tubing. That day, Mum had tripe and onions. I sat quietly and politely, eating a ham sandwich. Nothing memorable about that spread. Yet I recall it well, probably because it is the only recollection I have of eating out in public as a child, which gave it an indefinable air of sophistication. In mid 1960s Lancashire, you did your eating at home.
• Source: www.miettas.com.au
Many people associate Burnley, as with other Northern towns, with tripe dressers and makers of black puddings of which there were 10 in 1953. By that date the combined industry was very much in decline but some of the larger firms, like Ralph Mason Ltd, then part of United Cattle Products Ltd, still survived. I remember their very good restaurant, which was at 26 St James' Street, not because of the tripe (which I did not like) but because of the silver service which was the norm there.
• Source: www.burnleyexpress.net
I was born in 1947 at 124 Clowes Street, West Gorton, and moved next door to 126, Clowes Street, which was a former tripe shop owned by United Cattle Products, and next door to the Beswick Co-op Butchers and the Co-op Grocers shop.
• Source: www.knowhere.co.uk
This site is not operated by, sponsored by, endorsed by, or affiliated with the United Cattle Products Ltd., their partners or sponsors. The United Cattle Products name, logos, and oval red sign are trademarks of the United Cattle Products Ltd. The design of UnitedCattleProducts.co.uk and UnitedCattleProducts.com is solely the responsibility of the webmasters of this site, and content does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the United Cattle Products Ltd. This site recognizes the historic importance of U.C.P. in promoting tripe in the United Kingdom and its purpose is to help further support the culture of this traditional dish by collecting and sharing memories, documents and images related to the United Cattle Products Ltd. for research, conservation and preservation purposes only.