Hedgehog Crisps' Welshpool inventor dies, aged 74

The inventor of Hedgehog Crisps - who taught in schools across the region - has died peacefully aged 74.

Hedgehog Crisps' Welshpool inventor dies, aged 74

Phillip Lewis from Welshpool, originally came up with the unlikely crisp flavour as a joke, inspired by an old gypsy story of baked hedgehogs.

He left the little popular prickly hedgehogs alone though and instead used pork fat and herbs and first sold the savoury snacks in printed brown paper bags while he was landlord of the former Vaults public house in Welshpool in the 1980s.

The idea drew attention from comedian Billy Connolly, who visited the pub, and broadcasters from all over the world.

Hedgehog Crisps put Welshpool on the quirky culinary map and they are even included on the Child of the 1980s website as an iconic product from the decade.

On the back of the packet it jokingly said: "Savour all the flavour of traditional country fare cooked the old-fashioned way, without harming a single spike of a real hedgehog."

Phillip's daughter Claire said: "Dad lived for many years in Welshpool and was best known for inventing Hedgehog Flavored crisps in the 1980s. He was also a French, Music and Classics teacher at Welshpool High School, Telford Upper School, Wrekin Boys and Bishops Castle. He was an accomplished flautist and a lover of all things French - including red wine!

"He will be missed beyond words by his five children, partner, brothers, sister and friends."

Phillip's crisps later went into mass production with the Bensons crisps company in South Wales.

Hedgehog Foods followed with more crisp flavours and flavoured spreads with a base on the Welshpool industrial estate, before the Hedgehog Crisps label was bought out.

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