THEY have cooked the final fry-up, poured the last mug of tea and removed the tables and chairs which have provided a spot for thousands of contended diners.

The Dinning family bid farewell to the Old Town Cafe yesterday, after 14 years of serving up traditional English food with their customary friendliness and humour.

Kevin Brasier-Dinning will begin life as a local primary school teacher next week while his mother-in-law Jennifer Dinning will focus on her catering business.

Jennifer said: “I have mixed emotions.

“I will miss the customers as the cafe has become a kind of community centre, especially for older people who have come in every single day.

“But we have planned this for six months so we have become acclimatised to it.

“Seeing it the way it is now makes it easier to leave as it doesn’t resemble anything we created.

“I’m looking forward to running my catering business and maybe having Saturdays off to go away.

“It will be nice to be on the other side of the counter for a change.”

When the family took over, the unit on Devizes Road was being used to store beds. They added a separate entry to an upstairs flat, changed its planning usage to become a cafe and served affordable food and drinks.

But the clan, who have not renewed their lease, feel the time is right to pursue new chapters in their lives.

Kevin, 39, of Lawns , has also gained a BA in fine art and took part in Swindon College ’s graduate show this year. But he hinted that a possible return could take place in the future.

Kevin said: “It’s not so much leaving as the fact that we probably won’t see many of our customers again. There’s no one that I wouldn’t want to see again.

“But there are a few empty buildings around here and it makes me think. You can never say never.”