A MUCH-LOVED couple who have run one of York's oldest fish and chip shops for more than a quarter of a century are hanging up their aprons.

Tony and Margaret Potts, have manned the counter at Tony’s Plaice in Newborough Street in Clifton for 27 years, but have now sold up and are looking forward to retirement. The business will close later this week, after 118 years as a fish and chip shop.

The couple said they had seen the street dramatically change over the years, with a dwindling number of corner shops and a shift from owner occupiers to tenants.

Mrs Potts, 64, said: “These houses were all family homes of parents with their children who would grow up and come back and visit or starter homes for young couples at one time. There was much more of a community and of course Shipton Street School was here.

“When we came in 1986 there were seven shops on Newborough Street and now we are the only one.

“Now there are fewer owner occupiers, and we have met a lot of nice students who have done different things to keep us entertained.”

Mr Potts said they have been opening for football matches at the nearby Bootham Crescent ground for 26 years.

He said: “The guy who owned the place before us didn’t see the point in opening for the football, but we soon realised it was a good idea and we haven’t looked back - the McGill family were regulars before they took over at Bootham Crescent.”

Mr Potts, 65, said the shop has a rich history, being built in 1879 and it has been a fish and chip shop since 1895, making it one of the city’s oldest.

The couple, who now live in Rawcliffe, have sold the business and flat above it, where they used to live. The shop has been bought as a food business, but not fish and chips.

For now they are looking forward to their retirement which they hope to spend, walking and gardening, while Mr Potts also enjoys fishing.

He said: “We will both miss the people really most of all, especially Margaret, because she does like to talk.”

Newborough Street resident, Jordan Gore, said: “Tony and Margaret have been fantastic neighbours, and I expect they will be missed by people from far beyond these streets.”

Tony’s Plaice will close for business on Friday.