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U.C.P. Memories

Tripe and elder was a big favourite of mam's. The tripe was usually creamy white and the elder was yellowy green both being part of a cow's udder lining. Sounds revolting, and it was. The elder was boiled slowly until tender, allowed to cool then sliced and eaten with bread and margarine. The tripe was simmered in half milk and half water with onions added. It looked and smelt equally revolting and none of us would go near it. Mam would relish the thought of eating it for tea or supper over two evenings. Sometimes she would go to U.C.P. United Cow Products in Stockport. Just to see if there was anything on offer that was not on ration.
• Source: Book "A Stockport Trilogy" by Kenneth Gibbons

My wife Julie Walters (nee Bedford) used to live across the road from Sylvia Pye, in Hardhorn Village, Near Poulton-le-Fylde. The was the only daughter of the Pye's who owned the U.C.P. restaurant in Blackpool. This was back in the 1950s.
• Source: Anthony Walters

My father, Cyril Woods was the chef in the cafeteria at Deansgate branch of U.C.P. for 40+ years, serving the traditional meals of steak & cowheel, tripe and onions etc. I worked there for years, weekends and school/college holidays, making sandwiches and salads, clearing tables and drying cutlery. One of my other jobs was draining the "exotic" waterfall of coins.
• Source: Janet Whitham

My memory of UCP Tripe Works. I lived in Stanley Street, off Highfield Road in Levenshulme from 1945 to 1953. My grandparents had lived at number 18 from 1900 to 1953. Their front door was opposite the main door of the Tripe Works, and I remember the women in clogs etc. My grandma used to buy broken pies from that door as well as tripe etc. There was a vacant block with chickens on next to the Works, and Jacksons Brickworks next door. We used to go to the UCP Cafe on Stockport Road for a treat. I have lived in Australia since 1964, but have so many memories of my childhood in Levenshulme.
• Source: Brenda Cooke

In 1948 I was taken to Bolton to buy my engagement ring by my boyfriend Albert. It was the Saturday nearest to Valentine's Day in that year, the date of my eighteenth birthday. We caught the train from Buxton into Manchester's Piccadilly Station, walked across the city to catch a bus to Bolton. The ring was purchased. Its cost, all of eighteen guineas. Albert not long de-mobbed from the RAF didn't have much money in his pocket but he was determined to make our engagement day something special and he did. Albert said we would eat nicely to celebrate the day and that is why we went to the UCP restaurant in Bolton for our meal, selecting the upstairs dining area which was more high class to us who had never eaten in a restaurant before. The tables had clothes on and the cutlery was set out, and our order was taken by a waiter from our table. "Oh, so posh!" we thought. Then when our meal came, we hadn't a clue where to start with all the cutlery. Both from working class backgrounds who hadn't a clue about dining decorum, we watched others sitting near us to see where to start and gradually worked out the cutlery we should use for the fish. I might add that, after Albert had paid for the ring, he had only enough money left to afford one course and that was fish and chips. Luckily, we had the return rail fare home! I recall the meal and everything being excellent and to me it remains one of the most romantic days of my life. Albert and I married in 1949. We loved, cherished, honoured, never had to obey each other, until death did us part. We often recalled that wonderful day. And here I am now, age of 86 on Facebook having cause to further recall the UCP restaurants because someone had asked if anyone recognised or knew about tripe, showing a picture of the honeycomb variety. This is the reply I posted: "Tripe, black and white, honeycomb or thick seam. All in my diet when a child and whenever I visited England it was always got in for me. I absolutely love it. Lots of pepper, salt and swamped in brown malt vinegar. Yummy yum. You see the tripe I ate wasn't cooked. It was dressed by some method that made it right to eat it raw. Very nourishing, believe me who has lived to age 86. Secret of long life eat more tripe. That is *if* you can buy dressed tripe anymore. There was a company who specialised in this dish called UCP restaurants usually combined with sales of fish and chips." I am so glad to find your site so that I could read more about UCP and reminding me of that special day in my life and the fifty-six years I had with my dearest Albert.
• Source: Dorothy Bonfield

I used to go to the UCP cafe in Blackpool as a child. The cafe was quite smart and upstairs. On the ground floor was the shop selling tripe cowheels and such. I loved it there. We all ate tripe then.
• Source: Lynda Hillman

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