Meet the team
Mark first worked in a fish and chip shop while still at school as a part-time job, serving and helping the owner prepare and fry chips. Following his A-Levels he took a year out working at Long Row Fisheries in Horsforth, Leeds, where he trained as a fish frier. Mark then went to Trent University, Nottingham and studied a BSc Degree in Physics and Chemistry followed by a PGCE.
After spending a year in the USA he decided he didn’t want to become a teacher and in 1991 Mark bought a fish and chip shop instead. This was extremely successful and following the sale of this business in 1997, Mark bought Towngate Fisheries.
As well as running Towngate Fisheries, Mark has worked as a volunteer for the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), training people new to the trade or interested in becoming a fish frier. Mark was head of training for the NFFF from 2009 – 2015 and Vice President from 2011 – 2014. Since 2010 Mark has helped Drywite organise and judge the Young Frish Frier of the Year Competition.
In his (little) spare time he sings with Inspiration. This has included concerts and shows throughout England, as well as singing in Belfast, Disneyland Paris and St Peters in the Vatican, Rome.
When Mark Drummond bought Towngate Fisheries in 1997, Mark Lyness delivered fish there every morning. He had previously been a fish frier at Queen Street Fisheries, Keighley and when, in 1999, an additional frier was needed at Towngate, he decided to take the job and give up having to get up to start work at 4am! After a spell running Bank Top Fisheries, he returned to Towngate Fisheries in 2005.
Vera started work at Towngate Fisheries in 2008 as a counter assistant. She had previously worked at Wellington Fisheries, Undercliffe as a server and frier. When the opportunity arose in early 2010 to become a frier at Towngate, Vera re-trained and now both frys and serves as required.
Richard studied Geography at the University of Derby after which he worked for Sainsbury’s. In 2003, Richard commenced a position in the training team at Seafish, which included the development of qualifications for people working in the fish and chip industry. Richard has also judged the Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Competition and it was during this activity that Richard formed an effective working relationship with Mark Drummond. In 2015, an opportunity arose at the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) where Richard became Training & Accreditation Manager. This involved the delivery of training to people either working in, or seeking employment, in the fish and chip shop sector. At Towngate Fisheries Richard both serves and fries and helps Mark with developing staff training and food safety systems. Richard has supported Bradford City since 1988 and he is also a member of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
Joanne first worked for Mark at Bank Top Fisheries in 2001. When Mark sold that business she left to become an Air Stewardess. She worked for Mark again at Gullivers on Great Horton Road from 2008 and now, following the birth of her second child has joined the Towngate Fisheries team working part-time.
Lia works part-time at Towngate Fisheries whilst studying A levels at Immanuel Community College in Thackley. In her spare time she dances at The Deana Morgan Dance Academy.
Caroline (Caz) works part-time at Towngate Fisheries whilst being a mum to daughter Ivy and son Theo. In her spare time she enjoys art, shopping and computer games.