* JOHN McMonagle spent seven years serving fish and chips out of the

hatch on the side of a van. Today he is still serving them -- but now

they are likely to be washed down by a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. The

buyers are the diners on board John's ''floating'' fish-and-chip

restaurant, the Debra Rose, on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

John opened his McMonagles fish and chip restaurant at Clydebank six

months ago as a crowd of 1500 gathered to watch the Debra Rose being

lowered into the canal. Since then he admits to having had to ''learn a

lot of lessons'' in the leap from a fish van with one part-time

assistant to running a 130-seater restaurant with a full-time staff of


John first thought of the project four years ago and had to raise

#650,000, much of which went on building the 100-ton Debra Rose in a

Campbeltown shipyard. ''I got off to a great start when my father

immediately said he would back me to the tune of #20,000,'' he says.

''The Clydesdale Bank also backed us with #250,000, my partners put up

#250,000, and we raised the rest through leasing arrangements.''

It broke his heart when, after the boat was towed up the Clyde from

Campbeltown, it had to be cut into eight pieces to be carried over the

last 400 yards to the canal where it was welded together again. ''That

exercise cost us #20,000 but we did not have any other option.'' He also

admits that the Debra Rose does not float but sits on the bottom of the

canal, weighed down by 100 tonnes of cement.

Meanwhile, customers who fancy a little sail in the canal will soon be

able to catch a ''canal bus'' to take them to the restaurant.