A family-run eatery has announced its closure after almost 60 years, 40 of them in Romford.

Linda McDowell, owner of McDowell’s Pie & Mash in Romford Shopping Hall, said she has chosen to retire. The shop is due to close on Saturday (July 29).

Linda told the Recorder: “Everything's so much more expensive now. Times are tougher. But I'm also getting older obviously as well. So, I was going to retire at some point.”

Now in her 60s, Linda recalled taking over the business from her mum and dad, Nora and Reg McDowell, who first bought a pie and mash shop in Dagenham about 58 years ago.

Romford Recorder: The pie shop moved to Romford Shopping Hall in 2021The pie shop moved to Romford Shopping Hall in 2021 (Image: Chantelle Billson)

Her journey, she said, since then has been a mix of highs and lows. She has hosted the likes of Havering’s mayor and other dignitaries, with their busiest times being in the 1980s and 90s.

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Having been located in Romford town centre for many years, the pie shop moved to the shopping hall in 2021.

Linda has resolved to “end it on a high”.

Romford Recorder: The venue closes after this Saturday, July 29The venue closes after this Saturday, July 29 (Image: Councillor David Taylor)

She said she is going to "miss all her customers, old and new", and added: “It is very emotional and a lot of the customers have been very upset. 

“I’d like to say thank you to all of them and wish them well. I've known some of them for years, seen all their children and their grandchildren grow up.”

Councillor David Taylor, of St Edward's ward, took to social media to pay a tribute to the shop.

He said: “Sad to see McDowell's is closing. I only ever went a few times. But loved it when I did."