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Stratford fish seller who’s having one of his best years in almost five decades

IT'S a fishy tale with a happy ending for a Stratford fishmonger who's netting a big catch in trade despite coronavirus.

Tim Gardiner, who owns Fishy Business, has cast off the doom and gloom of Covid-19, by offering his customers a healthy eating choice which doesn't cost the earth and features 50 varities of fresh fish at his market stall in Rother Street, Stratford which is open every Friday.

Tim, who has been trading for 48 years, says he's had some of the best sales he's ever known during lockdown but he's not the only beneficiary. He believes the surge in demand for fish is due to his customers' desire for a healthy diet.

It's not been easy though and he admits he's had to work extra hard to keep his business afloat while retail nationally has been dealt a deadly blow by the pandemic. Fortunately for Tim, Brexit "hasn't affected" his livelihood either - he said.

"Lockdown hit fishing hard and crews in Brixham and elswhere were furloughed. In order to get my fish supply I got up at 3am every day and picked up fish from wholesalers in Birmingham and some from Scotland. I already knew my customer base so I started home deliveries to over 150 of them which was ideal for people who couldn't go out. I've had my pitch at Stratford Market for 24 years but when the market closed last year because of Coronavirus, I made sure all my customers were looked after", said Tim Gardiner who lives in Bickmarsh near Bidford.

You don't have to fish around to find out about Tim's background as a fishmonger. His father - Colin Gardiner - ran Simpsons Fishmongers in Henley Street, Stratford and as a 17 year old, Tim was taught everything he knows in the trade by a couple called Mr and Mrs Codling.

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