IF YOU’VE ever taken a stroll along the beach in Hill Head the chances are you’ve stopped at The Shack for an ice-cream or a cup of tea.
The cafe, near the Monks Hill car park, has been an institution for dog walkers and beach-goers ever since Angela Collingwood took the reins 25 years ago.
Now, a quarter of a century later, The Shack has held a celebratory weekend with cake and balloons to honour stalwart owner Angela.
The council recently announced plans to extend the seating area because they were so pleased with how Angela runs things.
Angela, 51, said: ‘The chap who had it before me had it for about four years and he hardly ever opened.’
Angela, from Segensworth, opens The Shack every day, come rain or shine, all year round and has become a regular face at Hill Head.
She said: ‘One day my dad saw The Shack up for sale and he rang me and “do you want it?”.
He had the estate agent on one phone and me on the other, I took a gamble and said “yes” and took it on a three-year lease.
‘At the time I thought “this is going to be a challenge” and sure enough I’m still here 25 years later.’
Angela’s dad David Barlow died four years ago and she said that she inherited her work ethic from him.
She said: ‘I love it down here. I’ve got some really lovely customers. Because I’m down here all the time, it’s my social life as well as my work.’
Angela has two children Stephen-Lee, 26, and Ashley, 32 and two grandchildren Isabelle, five, and David, three months.
They often visit her at The Shack, and Isabelle loves seeing her nan at work.
Angela said: ‘Everybody knows me and you get some interesting characters, it’s great.’