Burnley chip shop owner who received racist note overwhelmed by outpouring of support

A Burnley chip shop owner stunned after being sent a racist note in the post has been overwhelmed by messages of support from the community.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 4:14 pm
Barden Lane Fish Bar
Barden Lane Fish Bar

Sim Singh (27), who only took over the running of Barden Lane Fish Bar two weeks ago, was opening the post on Friday morning when he came across one of his flyers with a Post-It note attached to it.

The note read: "We will not use you as you pander to crule [sic] Aisian [sic] ways (Halhal) [sic]. You are in Lancashire not Aisian [sic] country!!"

Sim said he couldn't believe what he was reading.

The note that was delivered to Barden Lane Fish Bar

"I only delivered the flyers on Thursday morning, and I got this back on Friday. I can't actually believe somebody would go to the trouble of putting a first class stamp on an envelope and sending it to me.

"It wasn't a nice feeling. It was Friday morning. The shop was busy, I was getting phone calls from the other shop. Then I open this letter, read the note, and I just thought 'Are you for real?'

"It's a new shop, so of course it's a setback. I started thinking, 'What if everybody feels that way? Is anybody actually going to come to the shop?' But the support I have had since has been incredible."

Sim posted the note on Facebook after one of his staff convinced him it was the right thing to do.

Hundreds of messages of support quickly flooded the replies; a sign, in Sim's eyes, that society is moving forward.

"I didn't want to post it because I don't really want that kind of publicity. But one of the girls in the shop convinced me. And I'm glad I did.

"The feedback has been overwhelming. There is so much hate speech on social media, and I think this has turned into something really positive. I don't think I've read one negative thing. The response we've had has been incredible.

"The Asian community are always going to stand behind me when something like this happens, because it is them who are being targeted. However, a lot of other people have really stood up here. I've been getting people calling the shop offering support. I've had messages of support from Norfolk, London, even one from the USA.

"It it shows that we are stronger together. This person's views have been rejected. It shows me that we definitely moving forward. There will always be people with views like this, but they are becoming more and more of a minority."

Sim, who is originally from Leeds, moved to the area last year after taking over Ightenhill Fish Bar in 2018.

When the opportunity arose to take over the Barden Lane shop as well, he said it was too good to turn down.

He said he loves the town and its people, and isn't going to let one person put him off building his businesses or serving the community.

"I'm not going to let it stop me. If somebody wants to say that, or feel that way, then so be it. I am not going to change. These are my beliefs and I will always stand by them. I will never change my principles.

"I've never experienced anything like this before, but it's not going to put me off."