Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 13:15 UK

Feathers fly over pub meal's exit

Man eating fried chicken
The fried chicken and chips meal became popular in the 60s

Diners are calling for the pub staple chicken-in-a-basket to be returned to the menu at the Cotswolds inn where the dish is said to have been invented.

The Mill at Withington is credited locally with creating the popular fried chicken and chips meal in the 1960s.

Mill regular Bob Willey said he was so surprised at the absence of the dish on the menu he complained to the brewery.

A spokesman for owners Samuel Smith's said it was a "no comment situation".

Mr Willey said the brewery told him that it did not ask for customers' opinions about menu changes.

A lot of young, and not-so-young, people thought it was a splendid idea and came for miles
Lady Mavis Dunrossil

"The Mill invented the concept of chicken in the basket," Mr Willey said.

"The pub was almost empty on bank holiday Saturday evening."

Gloucestershire County councillor Lady Mavis Dunrossil, who lives in the village, said of the dish: "It really put The Mill on the map for many young people at the time.

"Chicken in a basket was certainly something special.

"A lot of young, and not-so-young, people thought it was a splendid idea and came for miles.

"You used to find the car park absolutely jammed."

Samuel Smith's area manager Con Scully refused to give a reason for the dumping of the dish.

He said: "I just don't feel the need to comment, I'm sorry if that sounds rude.

"We decide what we sell. It's just a no comment situation."

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