Emotional Joyce ready to retire from Barlick café

Barnoldswick cafe owner, Joyce Wilson, will retire from her cafe on Skipton Road.
Barnoldswick cafe owner, Joyce Wilson, will retire from her cafe on Skipton Road.

An emotional Barnoldswick café owner is preparing to hang up her apron for the final time as she retires next week.

Joyce Wilson (73), who has run Joyce’s Snack Bar in Bank Buildings for the last 44 years, will boil the kettle for final brews and serve her last lunch on Thursday after selling the business on.

Mrs Wilson, who took on the former sweet and cigarette shop aged 29 in October, 1969, is described as having a “heart of gold” by friends for her well-known charitable side, especially to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Another regular, a 97-year-old, has been enjoying Joyce’s hearty lunches almost every day for the last 27 years.

Mrs Wilson has hosted a load of future stars who took part in Barnoldswick’s Gala down the years, including June Brown, who plays Eastenders Dot Cotton, Amanda Holden, Linda Lusardi and Les Dennis to name a few.

Retirement will also leave Mrs Wilson with many memories, some of which include Rag Albert as her first customer in a morning, annually entering Barnoldswick’s window dressing competitions, decking the café out in England colours during football competitions, winning the town’s pub quizzes as part of the café team and holding fun events such as Blind Date.

Mrs Wilson says she’s had to adapt her business over time, with the coal yard closure, the stopping of buses into town full of Rolls-Royce workers and the arrival of the One Stop shop all changing the way she operated.

Joyce said: “My husband Keith didn’t really want me to come here really. But I always wanted to run it since I was a girl. I thought if I could just have it for 10 years ... but I’m still here.

“It’s just got too much for me. It’s really hard work now. I’ve loved every minute of it, we’ve had some laughs down the years. It’s been like a social club. I’ll be emotional next week.

“I just want to thank all my customers down the years, all staff past and present and my friends.

“I wish the new owners all the best and hope they enjoy it like I have enjoyed it. I will miss it.”

Mrs Wilson, who lives in Salterforth, hopes to become more involved with Salterforth Parish Council and Salterforth WI but admits a well-earned holiday could be put on hold due to a busy diary.