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Coronavirus: Mystery man buys villagers fish and chips

The Fox Inn, Denchworth Image copyright Oswald Bertram
Image caption The Fox Inn closed on Friday but the kitchen is due to be a hive of activity again

A mystery man has arranged to buy his entire village fish and chips in a bid to bring the community together during the coronavirus lockdown.

Stephen Davidson, owner of The Fox Inn in Denchworth, Oxfordshire, said he had been recruited by his fellow villager.

He said he also wanted to show "how important pubs are to village life" and hoped others would follow his lead.

The meals will be delivered on Friday and there are plans for more in the coming weeks.

The generous donor was not a frequent user of the pub, Mr Davidson explained.

"He was prepared to fund, once a week, a takeaway for every member of the village," Mr Davidson said.

"He said he'd like to do it for a minimum of 12 weeks. Depending how things go he may up it to two a week.

"He may carry it on longer than that depending on the need and the take up on it."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption All 171 villagers are entitled to a free meal of fish and chips
Image copyright Stephen Davidson
Image caption Pub owner Stephen Davidson said future deliveries could include curries and roast meals

He added: "He doesn't want to be the focus of attention for this.

"He thinks people like him who are fortunate to be in their situation should do something for their communities if at all possible."

Denchworth is near the town of Wantage and has 171 residents.

Mr Davidson said the scheme would be carried out by a small group of volunteers wearing disposable gloves and masks while he and his wife cooked the meals in the pub kitchen adhering to strict hygiene standards.

In later weeks the pub may vary the menu to include curries and roast meals, he added.

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