Horden chippy owner moves to retirement home in Sunderland but won’t stop working


A MAN who has worked at his family’s famous County Durham fish and chip shop for nearly 62 years says he is not ready to lay down the chip scuttle just yet.

Richard Farley has been serving up the nation’s favourite supper at Farley’s on Third Street, Horden, since 1959 when he helped his parents Meggie and Eric out as a young boy.

A family business, he took over the shop in 1987 after his parents had both passed away, and is now joined behind the fryer by third and fourth generations of the Farley family – his daughters Kelly and Lesley and granddaughter Rachel.

Read more: Children’s author Anna James visits County Durham school

Mr Farley believes the shop’s longevity is partly down it the eatery’s interiors and traditional menu barely changing over the years

He said: “I’ve had opportunities to change suppliers over the years and implement cost-cutting measures but it has never seemed worth it.

“And we’ve also kept things simple – dishes that people enjoy and will come back again and again for.

“Cod and chips remains the supper-time staple, but we also sell a lot of our home-made patties and fishcakes which are made using the same traditional recipe as my mother used back in 1959.

“It has only developed marginally since then.

“My granddaughter and I prepare them in our shop and they do seem to have stood the test of time. Simple, but really tasty.”

Earlier this year, the 70-year-old and his wife of 23 years, Susan, who joined the business in 2003, started to think about their retirement.

They downsized to a smaller property and moved to the McCarthy Stone Retirement Living development, Herriot Gardens in Sunderland, but Mr Farley could not give up working at the shop completely.

He said: “I am not one to hang up my apron just yet.

“Instead I have taken a bit of a step back from the shop. I still run it and I still work there part-time usually two lunchtimes and two evenings per week and my daughters help out the remaining time.”

Mr Farley was just eight-years-old when his parents bought the chip shop.

“My mother had to drag me there”, he said.

“I think I would have much rather been out playing with my mates at the time.

“I always had aspirations of going to university to study electrical engineering, but after my mother passed away in 1973 my father began to count on me a lot more, so at the age of 22 I gave up my studies to help keep the household, and from there it’s been at the centre of mine and my family’s lives ever since.”

Mr and Mrs Farley can now spend more time on one of their passions – ballroom dancing. They regularly compete on the Northern ballroom circuit in Newcastle, Middlesbrough and at Blackpool’s famous Tower Ballroom.

And Mr Farley has discovered a talent for art, after starting to sketch and paint canvases during lockdown.

Some of his artwork has been snapped up by his daughters and sister for their homes and other pieces are on display in the hobby room at Herriott Gardens.

For more information about McCarthy Stone Retirement Living development, Herriot Gardens in Sunderland click here


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