A LOCAL businessman and entrepreneur whose hard work led to the establishment of the popular Tony’s Fish and Chip Shops on the Isle of Wight has died.
Anthony George Oatley, known as Tony, was 81 years old.
He was born in Gravel Pit Road, Wootton, to Donald and Lillian Oatley, the second of three children, with older brother Derek and younger sister Doreen.
He went to Priory Boys’ School in Newport, but at age 14 he had no choice but to work to provide an income for the family.
His first job was working for Colonel Spencer at Spencer’s Inn, Ryde, where he learned about the restaurant industry and business ethics from Colonel Spencer, who took Tony under his wing.
He moved on to become Assistant Manager of the Ryde Castle Hotel and later Resident General Manager, which made him want to own his own business.
Ryde Castle was sold and Tony returned to Spencer’s Inn as General Manager under new ownership.
It was there that he met his future wife Ania.
After their wedding, they noticed that three fish and chip shops had recently closed. They felt there was a void in the market and good demand, so they set up their first Tony’s Fish and Chip Shop at 50 High Street, Ryde.
Over the next 24 years, the business expanded to three restaurants and five takeaways, including Newport’s St Thomas’s Square.
As a child, Tony loved sports but unfortunately, due to financial reasons, he couldn’t play much.
He enjoyed football and cricket and enjoyed supporting youth development, sponsoring East Cowes Vics Football Club and Wootton Youth Football Club.
Later he was a big supporter of Ryde Cricket Club, where he enjoyed cheering on his son Mark and grandson Preston.
Tony enjoyed 22 years of retirement with Ania and spent a lot of time with his family.
He visited countries he could never visit while working and was an avid gardener.
He often gave people business advice and enjoyed chatting with the people of Ryde.
He leaves behind his wife Ania, his daughter Eva, his son Mark and his grandchildren Tiana, Preston and Kylie.
A funeral service will be held at All Saints Church, Ryde on Thursday 23 June at noon.