THE country's most famous steeplejack Bolton's Fred Dibnah is happy to admit that he's eaten all the pies .... and that he can now continue to do so!

Fred is enjoying one here at a long-established bakery shop in Adrian Road, Smithills which is a particular favourite of his.

The reason he's happy is that the shop, Diane and Brian's Pantry, is staying a bakery, and a family business.

Diane, now 54, first started working in the shop with baker Roland Ramsden when she was 15. She went back part-time when she married and her family were growing up, and when Mr Ramsden retired he suggested that she take it over.

That was 18 years ago. And every day since, she and her brother Brian have been getting up at 4.30am to create the pies and hand-moulded bread that have attracted a loyal following of customers, like Fred and Sheila Dibnah.

Unfortunately, eight months ago, Brian, now 65, broke his hip and has been unable to work since. Diane soldiered on with help from a baker friend, but finally realised she would have to rent out the shop.

Paul Gaffney had worked at the bakery for three years previously, and when Diane rang, as fate would have it, he had been looking for a local business.

Now, he and his brother Michael are taking over the popular shop, to continue the family tradition and are keeping on the same recipes that have made the bakery's wares a must for many local families.

"I'll be very sorry to leave next week because we have some lovely customers who are more like friends," admitted Diane. "But I'm glad another family is taking over, and keeping the recipes going."

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