Meet the 70-year-old Peterlee fish and chip shop boss who loves to dance

A 70-year-old fish and chip shop owner is spending as much time on the dance floor as he is behind the fryer.

By Ryan Smith
Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 4:55 am

Despite moving into a retirement community, Richard Farley does not plan on hanging up his apron just yet and continues to run Farley’s Fish and Chip Shop in Peterlee.

The shop, on 3rd street, has been open since 1958 where Richard helped out his parents Meggie and Eric before taking over the shop in 1987 after they both passed away.

He is now joined by the third and fourth generations of the Farley family, with his daughters Kelly and Lesley, and granddaughter Rachel also working there.

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Richard Farley is continuing to run Farley's Fish and Chip Shop in Peterlee despite moving into a retirement community.

Richard 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.”

“Cod and chips remains the suppertime 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.

Richard and his wife Susan have recently taken up ballroom dancing as a way of keeping fit and healthy.

"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.”

As well as running the shop, Richard and Susan have also found a new passion for ballroom dancing – with the couple regularly competing on the ballroom circuit across the North East.

Richard added: “We are strictly retired, get it? But we are still keen to find some new moves.

“Fish and chips isn’t about health; it’s about treating yourself and we all need to do that every once in a while.”

Richard and Susan with their granddaughter Rachel, who is the fourth generation of the family to work at the shop.

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“That said finding ways to stay active now I’m in my 70s is incredibly important, and for us dancing is just the ticket – it feels so good moving around the dancefloor holding my lovely wife, and getting lost in the music.

“We get such a thrill from dancing together. It’s all for pleasure, nothing too serious. But we are hoping for a few medals in the not too distant future and I have been told on more than one occasion, we look pretty good on the dancefloor.”

Richard also hopes that the future of the fish and chip shop will remain in the family and continue to see his parent’s legacy living on.

He commented: “Over the years customers have become good friends and we’ve always been at the centre of the Peterlee community.”

“You need to be a very good listener working as a ‘chippy’ and ready for anything – we’ve seen all sorts over the years.

“We’ve always made a comfortable living from it and it would be nice to see my parent’s legacy live on.”

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