A MUCH-loved chippy is the plaice to be as it is set to reopen more than a year after a devastating fire.

Chilvers Fish and Chips shop, in Manningtree High Street, had to close down in 2020 following a bathroom fire in an upstairs flat on Christmas Day.

As a result of the fire being extinguished, the shop below was left flooded and the ceilings and electrics damaged.

Owners John, 51 and Karen Chilvers, 49, also had to replace their old fryer, which meant they were left with a hefty bill of £47,000.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: The damage after the fire The damage after the fire

Now the couple are preparing to cut the ribbon to the fully-renovated business on Tuesday.

Three generations of the Chilvers family have run the fish and chip shop after it was first opened by Daphne and Gordon on January 5, 1959.

What John and Karen are mostly proud of is that they have managed to keep the legacy alive...despite the challenges.

John said: “We had to completely refit the whole place.

“We have lost all the original features within the shop.

“We lost all the fridges, the chipper and all the stock.

“The insurance estimate was about £90,000 and we wanted to make it all modern, so it cost us another £30,000.”

The shop was supposed to reopen last May, but the date was pushed back to December due to the pandemic.

More than a year later, John and Karen are finally about to move into the new shop.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: The chippy has a fresh modernised lookThe chippy has a fresh modernised look

John said: “My grandparents would have been really happy with what we have done to the place.

“It is very different, but the menu stays the same.”

The shop has been running for 62 years and is a much-loved takeaway for local people.

It also shaped John’s personal life as he met Karen when she came in for a part-time job.

John, who started working in the kitchen peeling potatoes when he was 11, added: “The local community has been really supportive so far.

“We would like to thank everyone who has stood by us through all this and supported through this stressful time.”

Visit Chilvers Fish & Chips on Facebook for more information.