Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Secret to Cracking Success; FROM GRANGETOWN BOBBY TO MEETING ROYALTY

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Secret to Cracking Success; FROM GRANGETOWN BOBBY TO MEETING ROYALTY

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE ROBSON dave.robson@trinitymirror.com @Daverobson_gaz

HE began as a Grangetown beat bobby - now David Laing and his wife Christine are cracking the gourmet Scotch egg market with The Clucking Pig Company.

But how did he get from the police, via Disney cruise liners, to making acclaimed snacks at home in Grewgrass Lodge, Marske? Here David and Christine tell their story: LIFE IN THE FORCE David: "I started as a police cadet straight from school. My first beat was walking the streets of Grangetown at the grand old age of 18.

"That was the late 1970s, and I remember walking up and down Birchington Avenue as if it was yesterday. I was based at the old South Bank Police Station and covered South Bank, Grangetown and Eston. I loved every minute of working there and I retired as a Detective Constable in 2002."

FROM TEESSIDE TO DISNEY David: "A friend suggested I pop my CV over to a few cruise lines. A couple of phone interviews later and I was a security manager with Disney Cruise Lines.

"It was the equivalent of being a Chief Constable at sea, with the added bonus of being Mickey Mouse's personal bodyguard.

"It was an amazing three years, and we travelled through the Caribbean, LA, the Bahamas and Mexico. But Christine and I had just got married and we decided to get back on dry land back at the home we both love."

MOVING IN AT GREWGRASS LODGE David: "There's a clause in the deeds which states a chicken should be kept on the land at all times - very apt for what we do now.

"The site was derelict until being used by the military in WW2 for bomb disposal. It was bought by a local family after the war and after retiring from the police in 2002, I bought the land and a dilapidated bungalow for the price of a terraced house.

"The place hadn't really been touched for around 75 years, so Christine and I set about transforming it."

Christine: "The whole place was overrun and wild when we first moved here, but we got stuck in and have created a real home from home for ourselves and a host of animals."

THE CLUCKING PIG Christine: "We have a lot of chickens, geese and ducks, so we started selling the eggs on a stall after joining Saltburn Farmers' Market in 2011. Then the market manager, Lorna Jackson, came up with the brilliant idea of gourmet Scotch eggs and it absolutely flew from there."

David: "The Scotch eggs proved an instant hit at the market and we just ran with it and developed it from there.

"To give you an idea, we sold 70 at the first annual Saltburn Food Festival in 2013 and we were really pleased with that.

"Last year, at the same Food Festival in 2016, we sold over 2,000 Scotch eggs in less than three hours. Incredible really."

STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD David: "We're both passionate about good local food and high standards of animal welfare. …

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