A TOWN’S chippy that has stood the test of time for decades before lockdown forced its closure has reopened.

London Terrace Chippy in Darwen was taken over by Adam McGregor and his partner Sarah Delaney at the end of last year.

But when coronavirus hit, they had to close, depriving chip-loving Darreners of one of the nation’s favourite meals.

Mr McGregor, 35, and Miss Delaney, 33, met while working at The Sirloin in Hoghton, and travelled around running food-led pubs up and down the country before moving back to Darwen a couple of years ago.

Mr McGregor said: “One of the pictures I use on our Facebook page is an old owner standing outside many years back.

“It changed hands a few years ago though and really struggled.

“It was trying to do too much, from curries to kebabs, chips to omelettes.

“I live on the next street and after pestering my Mrs for a year or so we booked a viewing and took it on.

“It was very rundown and took a few thousand pounds in repairs to the frying range just to get it legal and safe.

“We opened up at the end of last year with a back-to-basics theme - proper chips, prime haddock, all cooked in beef dripping.

“My 90-year-old nana makes some of the pies, and my mum makes the mushy peas, and me and my fiancee run the chippy, so it’s a proper family business.”

Mr McGregor said they have built up a good local trade, selling meals at lunchtime to factory workers and big family orders at teatime.

But then the coronavirus pandemic arrived.

Mr McGregor said: “With having our little boy, Ethan, and no-one to look after him as both our parents were shielding, we had to close.

Due to the time between taking on the chippy and the start of lockdown, Mr McGregor was ineligible for the furlough scheme, and could only apply for a business rates grant, which he says, while tough, just kept the family's heads above water.

He said: “We reopened on Tuesday to one of our busiest days since we took over the business, and there were lots of happy people delighted that their chippy was back.

Mr McGregor said he’s even invented a new dish, based on a local delicacy, the John Bull, a traditional Blackburn dish.

Originally from the Higher Croft area of Lower Darwen, Mr McGregor said: “We call it The Black Bull - it’s savoury mince and onion in between two slices of Bury black pudding, battered, and it’s delicious.”