Yorkshire 'proper gravy' campaigner, Ken Mither of Cleckhuddersfax, West Yorkshire, was relaxing at home last night after taking his 'Proper Gravy Wi Chips' campaign all the way to the Surrey town of Dorking, having made the visit in one day on a day return rail ticket.
"I'm fair thraped, but I'm reasonably satisfied that t' trip were a success," Mither declared. "Some bugger has to spread t' word to these southern philistines that it's just not reet ter serve chips baht proper gravy. And I'm yer man. Oh yes. Indeed I am."
Mither's crusade isn't solely aimed at the south though - he has actively campaigned outside several northern chip shops too, protesting that it is irresponsible to serve proper chips without proper gravy. So determined is Mither to get his message across that he has even recruited a Campaign Secretary, 69 year old Hilda Eckersley, a former chip shop worker and fully qualified fish fryer, of nearby Cleckheaton.
Ms Eckersley revealed that initially she had serious misgivings about sending Ken Mither all the way to Dorking and back in one day. On a train.
She explained that the logistics of the trip were a nightmare, which involved Ken Mither catching an early train from Cleckhuddersfax to Leeds, and changing there for the East Coast Mainline service to London Kings Cross. Calling at Sheffield and Peterborough.
By far the most difficult section of Ken Mither's journey involved the transfer between Kings Cross and London Waterloo, from where he took his train to Dorking.
"That must have been traumatic for Ken," Ms Eckersley explained. "It's coz he had ter go on th' Underground train ter git dahn yon Watterloo, and it's dead complex is that. Even for serious travellers. T' Japanese find it damn near impossible, and I don't think Ken were any different. He's never bin dahn yon London afore, so it must've been at least a bit dauntin'"
But Ken Mither did manage to successfully negotiate the notoriously confusing Northern Line, and arrived at Dorking at lunchtime. Or possibly a little after that. He seems a tad confused about the details.
"I were reet fair pleasant surprised wi' Dorking," Ken told reporters. "Eeh, folk dahn theer were ever so friendly, and they welcomed me wi' open arms. Smashin' it were."
Ken then went on to relate how he'd gone on to visit various chip vending establishments around the town and campaigned that the proprietors of such should be selling 'proper' gravy as an accompaniment to everybody's favourite fried chipped potato feast.
"I think they were responsive, to a degree," Ken reported. "They're fair grand folk an' all that, but when it comes to proper grub, they know nowt. Tha can't get mushy peas wi' thee fish and chips dahn theer. Can't get mushy peas for love nor bloody money, and it's t' same wi' gravy. It's almost like they've never 'eard on it! It's a bloody disgrace is that, a sin and a bloody shame, and all them really nice poor southern sods are missin' aht. They 'as what thi call pea fritters dahn theer. Pea fritters! They're like a snowball made aht o' peas, dobbed i' batter an' deep fried! What the buggerin' 'ell is that all abaht? I ask thee. Anyroad, I reckon I might've talked 'em inter using mushy peas wi' fish and chips, and proper gravy wi' a portion o' chips in t' tray like. It were encouragin' really. They were reet grand folk, they really were. 'Cept they all talked a bit funny, like they 'ad marbles in their gobs or summat, burravin said that they were reet enough wi' me. And that'll do for me.
"Mind you - I dint think much o' yon Box Hill. It were a burruv a let dahn when tha thinks o' th' 'ills up our road. Bloody massive them buggers is. Still, I suppose tha's ter walk afore tha can run."
Dorking fish and chip shop proprietor, Ali Bullo, seemed fairly impressed by Ken Mither's whistle-stop visit.
"Him bladdy good man innit," Ali commented. "Me no understand a bladdy word him say, but him's gravy very nice. Me no sure about mushy peas. Me not put gravy or mushy pea on kebab shop menu, not very good with pizza or fried chicken either, but me think about it for chip shop. It nice with fish and chips. Him bladdy funny hysterical chap though - him talk in bladdy riddles innit!"
More as we get it.