Glossary entry for
Davey's chipper

In Van's neighborhood of East Belfast the McIlwain brothers ran a series of chip shops selling pastie suppers and the like on the Beersbridge Road, first on the corner of Greenville Road, and then at the corner of Clara Avenue. The latter (shown at right) is still a popular take-away, working under the name of Jim's Plaice.

Image at right and text courtesy of Stuart Bailie

David McIlwain writes from Australia (Feb 18/2000):
Davey's chipper was my Dad's, it was actually on the Beersbridge Road, the second shop from the corner of Greenville Road. My Dad also owned the other shop around the corner from Clara Avenue, both were on the Beersbridge Road, this one was run by his sister "Wee Annie".

My Dad's shop was a favourite meeting place for many who later became famous such as: Billy Bingham & Danny Blanchflower both became international soccer players, Rev. Ian Paisley often arguing theology with my dad & his brother who were both lay evangelists & gospel musicians, and of course Van Morrison. My Dad is now dead, he immigrated to Australia in 1961, my Mum is still alive & knew Van Morrison's Mum quite well.

My dad, David, and his brother James were gospel evangelists, known as "The McIlwain brothers" (shown at right: David - known as and called "Davey" - is on the right). My Dad started the shop near Clara Avenue, then it was taken over by his brother James, they all lived in rooms above the shop until I was born in 1943. My Dad then bought the shop down the road (the one which Van went to) - it hadn't been a chip shop before my dad got it, he had the chip fryers imported from England, they were apparently very impressive for the time. He had his name Davey's embedded in the front door step in terazzo, it was still there when I went back to Belfast in 1975, but the shop was a chinese takeaway (named "Always Welcome") then (see photo above).

Maurice Kinkead sends a recent (June 26/2004) photo of the former Davey's Chipper noting that "as you can see it looks like the terrazzo [which once had the name Davey's in it] has been cemented over".

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