MOBILE fishmonger Jonathan Spencer was given the VIP treatment when customers in Kinver flew the flag down the High Street for his 50th birthday.

Known locally as 'Jon the Fish' - he has been delivering his door-to-door fresh fish service for 25 years.

His red van has become a familiar sight around the area with customers in Kinver, Stourton, Enville, Wollaston and Stourton.

Long-time customer Graham Gough said: "People really look forward to him arriving. He's such a cheerful chap, always has a smile and a joke to tell. He's a real character and there's not too many of them about these days."

Another customer Margaret Jeens from Dudley said: "I must have been one of his first customers. Jon took over from our previous fishmonger and he's a real treasure. I've watched his children grow up, because he used to bring them with him when they were little."

Jon revealed he only took the business on by chance and explained: "I knew nothing about fish. Then we went to tea with one of my wife's friends, whose husband was a fishmonger. The only fish I'd ever eaten before came out of a box and I couldn't believe the difference between that and fresh fish.

"The chap moved up north soon afterwards and I decided it would be a good business to have, so I bought it. I was working for Marks and Spencer at the time and everyone thought I was stupid to give up a secure job, but I had no doubts.

"I've been doing this job for such a long time - but I wonder about the future. Most of the people who appreciate fresh fish are over 60 and happy to cook it. I can count on one hand the number of customers I have under 30."

Jon's working day begins around 5am when he sets off to the wholesale markets in Tipton and Birmingham.

He said: "I used to drive all the way to Fleetwood at one point, but it's exactly the same fish that finishes up in Birmingham. I like to buy fish that is caught the same day. If I don't think the fish is any good, I won't buy it. If I sell bad fish, then people won't buy fish off me again."

Some days, he doesn't get back home until the early evening - but Jon has no regrets.

He said: "The customers are very kind, good, honest people and it's been a pleasure to go to work."