End of an era as Naze Lane Chippy in Freckleton closes after 34 years
A Freckleton couple who served up battered jam sandwiches, deep-fried Mars Bars and mushy pea fritters from their humble fish n’ chip shop for more than 30 years are finally leaving the hustle and bustle of business life behind.
Regulars of Naze Lane Chippy, also known as Pete’s Chippy, will have to go elsewhere for their haddock and chips from Friday, as owners Peter and Lesley Salthouse have announced their retirement.
The couple, who have served up piping hot fish and chips for more than 40 years, opened shop in 1987 after a stint in London.
Tomorrow they will celebrate the end of an era, as they close their doors to customers for the last time.
Lesley, 62, said: “The world might have changed, but to us it has just gotten bigger. The people of Freckleton are still as friendly as they ever were, and we’ve always found if you treat people in a nice way they will be nice back, and that’s the way we have always been.
“It has been a lovely place to live and serve and we have loved it.”
Before they ventured into the fish ‘n’ chip business in the 1970s, Lesley worked behind a desk at the Lancashire Evening Post, while Peter worked for a large hotel group.
But when the group wanted Peter to move to Nottingham to carry on his work, the pair - who have been together since Peter was 14 and Lesley was 12 - started looking for jobs they could do together.
For 11 years they worked in various fish ‘n’ chip shops around London - but their hearts always remained loyal to Lancashire.
“In 1987 we sold up and moved to Freckleton, and we’ve been here ever since,” Lesley said.
“Things have changed massively. The village has grown considerable since we have been here. When we arrived there was one small Italian restaurant, and one Chinese takeaway. Now there’s another chippy, another Chinese, an Indian takeaway, sandwich shops, and multiple bars.
“The village may have changed, but the people stay the same.”
Peter, 64, said: “When we first took over, we had young teens coming in, and these teens are now grown up and their children are coming in. It’s very community spirited.”
Lesley said: “We’ve been known as many things: Naze Lane Chippy, Back Chippy, Pete’s Chippy, and even Pete’s Pizzas. These weren’t official name changes, but the villagers have picked up on these names over the years.
“I have mixed feelings. We have happiness and excitement about our future and the rest of our lives, seeing our grandchildren more, travelling when we are able to, and just relaxing. But we’re also sad because its 34 years of business coming to an end.
“We’ve been very, very lucky, and had loyal staff and customers. We wouldn’t have spent 46 years doing the job otherwise.
“I don’t think we have got any regrets. It has been hard at times. When we started in the 70s we were doing 18-hour days - and now we’re doing 15-hour weeks. It has been fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable; we’ve met thousands and thousands of lovely people, and closing is going to be quite an emotional time. Customers who have been coming in 30-odd years are saying it will be strange not to see us here.
“But it’s the right time for us, and we have got the future ahead of us.”
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