Lifestyle & Belief

Prince Charles battles to save a historic kipper factory in London


Prince Charles, Prince of Wales rides an eco-bike as he attends The Earth Awards Exhibition at Clarence House in London, England. Charles is an avid environmentalist.


Chris Jackson

The Prince of Wales is well known for his environmental crusades, but now Prince Charles has thrown his hat into a different activist ring: he's fighting a North London city council to help a historic smoked fish (kippers) shop stay open.

It all began when the Purkis family, owners of the Walter Purkis and Sons kipper factory, were ordered to shut down their facility by the Haringey city council, after a complaint from a neighbor, wrote the Telegraph.

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The Purkis's were told that their smokehouse now violated both the 1993 Clean Air Act and the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, and would have to be shuttered.

Charles took an interest in the case, and last week (so the Daily Mail reports), a member of his staff personally visited the shop to look into the matter.

She was informed that the shop had been allowed to stay open, but would have to restrict their hours of operation — and they remained concerned they would be driven out of business.

"John told her there was going to be a meeting with the council and she asked him to send her all the details afterwards," said Mrs Purkis to the Daily Mail.

"It seems the council is now trying to pass the buck to [the department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] Defra."

It's not just any odoriferous smokehouse: the kipper shop is 133 years old and survived the London Blitz of WWII, the Daily Mail notes — and as a small family run business, is just the sort of endeavor that environmental and locally-grown food advocate Charles is in favor of.

Athe Radio 4 Food Programme Awards in 2000, Charles argued passionately in the defense of "traditional methods of production against the soulless, mechanistic and clinical imperatives with which we seem to be increasingly surrounded."