THE owners of a town chippy which has been in the same family for 53 years have announced that its time to hang up their aprons.

Sharon and Graham Element of Audrey’s Fish Bar, which is fondly known by hungry customers as ‘Tudorville Chippy’, say putting their Ross-on-Wye takeaway on the market has been a “difficult decision”, but it’s time for “a quieter life.”

Sharon’s mother and father Audrey and Ken Riches ran the Tudor Road chippy, which first opened in 1968, until 1993, when their daughter and her husband took over the business.

She and Graham, who have also raised more than £30,000 for charity through their business, aren’t going until a buyer is found.

And they have told townspeople: “A huge thank you to all of you that have passed on your warm wishes in light of our last post.

“Don’t forget we are open as usual for the foreseeable future, so will we see you on Thursday?”

Announcing their decision to sell up, the couple posted last Thursday (July 1): “Some of you may have heard though the jungle drums of Ross that Audrey’s is on the market.

“We wanted to be the ones to tell you that this is true, as of today.

“Much like any move from a family home, it has been a difficult decision but after running the business for 27 years, combined with Audrey and Ken, 53 years, we feel it’s time for a quieter life. We hope you understand.

“Business as usual (for now), we will of course keep you updated with any news. Thanks, Sharon and Graham.”

More than 100 customers have taken to social media to wish the couple all the best for the future.

Former town mayor Cllr Daniel Lister said: “You have been amazing over the years and provided some amazing food.

“You certainly deserve what you plan… let’s hope it’s bought as a chippy and your knowledge and frying skills are shared and taken on board to carry on your delicious fish and chips.

“Thank you but hopefully not goodbye… time to share a pint instead, first one’s on me.”

Hannah Lerego added: “Thank you for all your years of service in our community. Thank you for always providing the best gherkin and chips ever and for all your incredible fundraising efforts - truly outstanding.”

“Thank you for all the great meals our family has enjoyed over the years, my mum and dad wouldn’t eat fish & chips from anywhere else!!” posted Ann Morris.

And Robin Loveridge joked that although it would be “sad to see you go”: “Can you do me a lorry load of chips and a whale please?”

Sue Kirby added: “Fish and chips will never be the same, we will miss you both, you both deserve a rest and time to enjoy more holidays, Happy retirement.”

And Chris Wheatley said: “The best chippy for miles and although you will be greatly missed, we wish you all the best in whatever adventures you have in your retirement, and hope it’s long, happy & healthy!”

Shane Carlson posted: “Congratulations to you both Sharon! You richly deserve your retirement!

“Thank you for everything you and Graham have done for the community over so many years.

“You’re both awesome people who will be greatly missed - but “your time” awaits. ONWARDS!!”

Audrey’s, which is also renowned for its pickled eggs and pickled onions, has been put on the market for £395,000 with commercial agent Sidney Phillips, and is described as a wel-established and highly profitable business in a substantial and well-appointed property.

The building includes two to three bedrooms of private accommodation.