Bill’s Chippy in Mill Road, Waterlooville, has been voted by readers of The News as our Chippy of the Year – the fourth time the shop has received this accolade.
Bill Isherwood and his wife Janice have been running the shop for 16 years, but with the coronavirus pandemic this year, business has been rather more complicated.
However, sticking to what they know best, working hard and caring for those in their community, won the hearts of readers.
‘I really don’t know what to say, I’m at a loss for words,' Bill said.
‘I’m pleased as punch to have won this award, it means a lot to have people's support.
‘I would like to thank everyone who voted for us, as well as all of our incredible customers – we couldn’t have done this without them.’
Bill has owned the building for around 35 years, and it used to be a TV and video repair shop. But as DVDs became more popular Bill switched careers, despite having fried a single fish in his life.
Now, Bill and Janice put in more than 60 hours a week, but have a small army of part-time workers to help them out.
He said: ‘The staff have been working so hard, and I am proud of each and every one of them.
‘They never fail to surprise me with how dedicated they are, even this year they have kept to the Covid bubble and really sacrificed a lot for us.
‘We’ve been here for a long time and don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.’
With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Bill and the team found themselves becoming a key part of the community.
The services they provided kept people from being isolated, as deliveries gave elderly people a friendly face to talk to.
Bill explained: ‘The older people around here like it when we deliver to them, because it means they can stay indoors but still have someone to talk to from the window.
‘It’s a service that has means a lot to them, especially this year when times have been so tough.
‘This has been a difficult year for everyone, but we’ve got through it together.’