SOUTH WOODFORD: Chip shop owner calls it a day after 68 years (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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SOUTH WOODFORD: Chip shop owner calls it a day after 68 years
AFTER 68 years behind the counter of a fish and chip shop, an 89-year-old woman is calling it a day.
Lily Wood,bought Wood’s chip shop in George Lane with her husband in 1943.
The shop is one of the longest standing businesses in the area and a firm favourite among locals.
Lily’s children were born in the flat above the shop where she has lived ever since, and her son David, 66, has worked alongside her at the fryers for as long as she can remember.
But the pair are retiring and will fry their final fish tonight (October 7).
Lily is moving to Buckinghamshire to live with her daughter.
She said: “I’m a bit sad to be leaving, but there’s such a lot to do what with all the bookkeeping and VAT.
“It can be a bit mindboggling and I’m not as quick behind the counter as I used to be.”
Son David added: “We know the community round here very well and there are a lot of families who come here who have been coming for generations.
“My mother has to stop one day though, and we decided that now is the best time.”
Lily puts the shop’s success down to the fact that she only uses fresh fish, the best quality potatoes and regular changes of cooking oil.
Regular customer, Andy Popperwell, 59, of Mulberry Way, has been buying chips from the shop for 30 years.
He said: “She never uses frozen fish, and it’s always delicious.
“She’s a very old fashioned lady and when you walk into the dining area at the back of the shop it’s like going back in time.
“I’ve already had chips once this week, but I’ll definitely be back for her last night.”
Lily plans to spend her retirement relaxing and travelling, but admits she has mixed emotions about leaving the shop.
“I’ll miss the customers most,” she explained. “A lot of them have become friends down the years.
“But the gentleman who is taking over the business is a very nice man who will stick to the same methods which we have always used.
“I feel like I’m leaving the business in good hands.”
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