It's goodbye Mr chips as the years just fry by for retiring couple
One of Chorley's best-loved chippies is entering a new era.
But Ken, 72, and Val, 58, have called it a day and sold the shop on as they head into retirement.
Its new owner is a London-based businessman.
The chippy is a truly traditional British fish and chip shop, nestling among rows of terraced houses.
Whether it’s for a mouth-watering bag of fish and chips, or their delicious home made pies, folk queue up outside the front door at every opening.
Preston-born Ken, who leaves for good on Friday after helping the new owner to settle in for the last couple of weeks, looked back on taking over the shop in 1998.
“We just always wanted a chip shop and I wanted to make it like I remember when I was a lad,” he said. “They’re hard to find now. The thing is, I made sure we only used local products as far as we can.”
Val, who is from Chorley, came on board after working as a supervisor at Kwik Save and began making the shop’s popular home made pies and hot pots and stewing steak specials. It lead to a spin off when she set up Val’s Kitchen outside caterers.
People have travelled far and wide to sample what’s on offer.
“We had one or two from Wigan come for pies, believe it or not,” said Ken. “People visiting from down south have asked can they take our frozen puddings back with them.
“The customers who come here every week have helped to make it good, because without it running fast it would become another back street chippy with chips hanging around.”
Ken admitted time had caught up with him a bit. He said: “My knees are knackered, If I wanted to have them done I couldn’t have time off.
“I’d like to thank all my new and old customers for supporting us over the years. I’ll miss those chats, jokes . . . people coming in saying that fish last week was absolutely beautiful.”
The couple, who are moving to Blackburn, have received much welcomed help over the years from their son Stuart, daughters Irene and Jane, and even grand daughter Holly, 14. Jane is now putting her culinary skills to use by setting up an outside catering business.
Ken plans to spend more time on his hobbies.
He explained:“I fly the flag for the Land Rover Defender which went out of production. I’ve always loved Land Rovers, so I’ve decided to buy one and restore it.” As for popping into a chippy again for a bag of fish and chips – that’s a firm ‘No”.
“I’ll make my own,” said Ken.
* The chip shop, which will now open from 11.30am to 2pm and 4pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday, is offering free chips – one portion per person – all day tomorrow.