A Whitehaven couple are cashing in their chips and retiring after 22 years.

Lynn and Gary Barwise opened their popular chippy on Kells in 1997 and since then have been an important part of the local community.

Lynn says she’s pleased to be retiring but she’ll miss seeing everyone: “The people who come in aren’t customers, they’re friends,” she said.

“That’s the part I’m sad about. We’ve had loads of laughs over the years.

“The first day we opened everything went wrong, the till broke, the fryers blew off. It was a nightmare but we got through it and we laugh about it now.

“I used to drive past the chip shop when it was up for sale, every day, and wished I could afford it. One day I went down to the estate agents and found I could.

“The rest is history.”

Barwise’s has sponsored most of the local sports teams over the years.

They’ve supported Whitehaven RL, Kells RL, Kells FC and Whitehaven AFC.

Lynn adds: “We’ve just watched people growing up round here. We’ve washed faces, we’ve stuck plasters on. We’ve rung mums on their mobiles because kids have come in and don’t have the number.

“I’m really going to miss it.

“I didn’t think I would but now I know I will.”

The chip shop won’t be closing down, however.

A well known figure in Whitehaven’s chip shops, Stephen Crosby, is taking it on.

Crosby’s sold their business on Tangier Street to Fraser’s four years ago and Stephen and his brother Norman retired.

Now he says he’s keen to get back in business:. He said: “I was getting bored to be honest.

“I’m looking forward to it. We’ve had some deliveries and the new signs are being put up. We should be open at the weekend.”

Lynn says she and Gary will be among Stephen’s new customers: “I always used to go to Crosby’s before we opened so we’ll certainly be going back to them now,” she added.