Tributes for popular former pub landlord

Graham Beeby with wife Jean and grandson Cameron

Graham Beeby with wife Jean and grandson Cameron

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Tributes have been paid to a former pub landlord who has died at the age of 79.

Graham Beeby ran the Bay Horse, on Babylon Lane, Heath Charnock, from 1975 to 1986.

He died on Wednesday of natural causes, leaving his wife of 60 years, Jean, three children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Graham, of Bolton Road, Anderton, was born in Horwich and went into the Army’s catering corps from school.

He was a master baker and later ran Beeby’s bakery and confectionary shop in Horwich, which he took over from his parents.

He sold it in 1975 and fulfilled his dream to run a pub.

His son, Adrian, 44, said: “He always wanted a pub and he pestered and pestered my mum for a pub.

“They put their name down and were shown all these awful pubs and then they went to the Bay Horse. My dad said that was the one.”

Graham was involved in several bowling clubs at the pub and organised bowling parties, as well as outings.

Customer and friend, Dave Brown, said: “He was a character, he was amusing, he had fun.

“He was the kind of landlord you don’t see many of nowadays.”

Graham was also a Freemason, joining the Rivington lodge in 1975 and becoming master of the lodge in 1987.

He was involved in lodges in Westhoughton, Horwich and Chorley, and was instrumental in helping to rebuild Westhoughton Masonic Hall after a fire in the late 1980s.

Graham helped to raise money for charity and was a founder member of the Masonic Caravan Club.

Malcolm Warren, a fellow Freemason, said: “He was such an efficient, generous and well-respected member of the community.

“He will certainly be very much missed by all who knew him.”

Adrian, of The Hamlet, Heath Charnock, added: “He was the kindest, gentlest, most caring man you could ever meet.

“If you wanted anything and he had it, he would let you have it.”

A funeral will be held at 1pm on Thursday at Rivington Parish Church.

The procession will go past the Bay Horse on its way to the funeral.