Peas and love: Hundreds queue for chips as Great Yarmouth Market legends retire

Watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell.

In the cut and thrust world of modern commerce, there aren't many business models as simple as the one Gary Salmon has always championed with a cheeky grin.

He sells mushy peas on Great Yarmouth Market for £1. Pies, a more recent addition, are also £1. Mint sauce is free - and so is Gary's barrage of banter.

"Do you know the worst two winters we've ever had in Yarmouth?" he barks at a customer. The punchline hits them before they can finish their mouthful. "Mike and Bernie."

The pie and pea stall has been there since 1946. Gary has been stood behind it for almost 60 of those years.

The pea and pie stall has been on Yarmouth market since 1946. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"We don't do rocket science," he says. "But we sell our little product and over the years we've built the trade up and the rapport with the customers.

"That's what we've got. I know all of these people by name. We're like one big family."

This weekend, that family lost several of its elders. Gary is retiring, passing on the stall - and the secret mushy pea recipe - to his nephew.

Also stepping down is Robin Platten, Yarmouth's 'Lord of the Fries'. He has run Brewer's Chip Saloon for four decades.

Simplicity has always been the key to the thriving family firm - championing the chip for 120 years.

"It just wasn't the done thing to put anything on Brewer's chips apart from salt and vinegar," said Robin, who remembers the blazing row he had to have with his father to let him start selling tomato sauce.

Saturday (Feb 26) was Robin's spud-filled swan-song - and he got quite the send-off.

By midday, more than 200 people were in line for their final portion of Brewer's chips. The queue snaked out of the market and right the way down the street.

"We've come from Texas to visit family," said one man. "But we specifically timed it so we could be here for the finale of Brewer's."

Another couple had driven 165 miles from Nuneaton. "The cost in fuel alone is ridiculous," they chuckled. "But it's been worth it."

Dressed as an undertaker for the day - to put the firm to rest with his trademark seaside sense of humour - Robin was moved to tears."It's amazing what just a humble chip can generate over so many years," he said.

"It just shows what the public has meant to us. My father, my grandfather, my mother they've all said over the years we're here for the people.

"I think they've been here for me."

Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to Brewer's Chip Saloon. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Great Yarmouth Market is entering a new era. Traders will start moving into the new multi-million pound building in April.

The council says 17 traders are moving across and it has had 40 "expressions of interest" for the nine remaining units.