U.C.P. Memories

Which high street brand would you like to bring back and why?
United Cattle Products. That's the high street brand I'd bring back. UCP was a chain of shops and restaurants in Lancashire and the north of England. They had 146 branches in the 1950s. UCP sold the very cheapest cuts - in those days nothing much went to waste. You can buy a reprint of "The 99 Recipe Book - Ninety-nine homely and delicious ways of preparing and serving UCP tripe and cowheels". Mmm. Tripe and tomato soup; tripe and liver roll; tripe with dumplings; tripe with fresh herrings; potted tripe; curried tripe; steamed tripe; cowheel and sheep's head pie. Now offal is fashionable, I reckon United Cattle Products would make a killing. [John Spencer, founder and creative director, Off the Top of My Head]
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You don't know of any tripe shops! Lancashire at least used to be littered with them. My first full summer job was working for UCP (United Cattle Products) in one of their restaurants. Downstairs was a shop that sold different kinds of tripe and offal and upstairs was the restaurant where we had a least three kinds of tripe available on the menu. This was in 1969, it kept going for several years after that. We used to have battles with the tripe and if you've never been slapped round the face with two pounds of thick seam you haven't lived!
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One of dad's favourite meals was tripe, boiled in milk with lashings of onions and he tried to get me to eat it once but it was absolutely foul. Mum used to buy it from the UCP (United Cow Products) shop at the bottom of Church Street in Blackpool. They sold all sorts of (as far as I was concerned), uneatable things such as cow heels, pigs trotters, heart, and (similar to black puddings) white and red puddings.
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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 UCP Restaurant in Blackpool. This was back in the 1950s.
• Anthony Walters

Though the notion might not hold the same appeal for many, I've happy memories of accompanying my father to a stall in Bradford market that sold little plates of cubed tripe ("Honeycomb or thick seam?") spattered with malt vinegar and thin, searing mustard. Later, when we moved to Rochdale, Lancashire, we enjoyed the same delicacy at branches of the sadly departed chain known as UCP (United Cow Products).
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As a child, I worked in the UCP (United Cow Products) on Saturdays for 3s/6d a day, mostly clearing tables and washing up, and later at a stall on the inside market, which sold teas, coffees and snacks.
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My father was a great tripe & onions fan, we often went to the UCP (United Cow Products) shop in Blackpool (for those that know the town, next to RHO Hills / The White Swan 'Mucky Duck' but on the corner of Bank Hey St and Victoria St - where Boots is now) to buy it.
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