Tributes to warm landlady

Joyce Collier from Chorley from Croston who has died
Joyce Collier from Chorley from Croston who has died

The former landlady of Chorley’s oldest pub has died.

Joyce Collier, who was described as the driving force behind the Black Horse at Limbrick, celebrated her 76th birthday only two weeks ago.

Mrs Collier and her husband, Arthur, 76, ran the thriving country pub on Long Lane on the outskirts of Chorley for 27 years.

They took it on in 1969 when it had flagged floors and coal fires, and remained behind the bar until their retirement in 1996.

Mrs Collier’s only child, Lynne Laurie, 53, said: “They’d never run a pub before.

“The Black Horse was their first and also their last.

“My dad won many cellar awards and he was the outgoing one – but although mum was a quiet person she was the driving force behind him.

“She had a very warm, friendly personality and was a real perfectionist – she had the cleanest pub in Chorley.

“I can recall customers coming from Blackburn and Bolton and they would say they could buy a pint anywhere, but they came to the Black Horse for the atmosphere.”

Mrs Collier, who was born in Bamber Bridge, worked for Ribble Buses for a while before moving to Limbrick.

Following her retirement from the pub, she remained active, volunteering at Chorley Hospital with the WRVS and also walking regularly from Birkacre Lodges.

Lynne said: “She had bags of energy and was a very young 76.

“She had something to do every day of the week and was always the one suggesting to her friend that they should go somewhere or do something.”

For the past six years Mrs Collier had cared for her husband Arthur, who suffers from dementia, at their home in Cranbourne Street, Chorley.

But following her diagnosis with cancer last September he moved to Euxton Park nursing home.

Lynne said: “We opened a bottle of champagne for her birthday on Valentine’s Day – the same day as my own – and she managed a sip.”

Lynne’s son 22-year-old Scott said: “We were very close.

“She was like a second mum to me and always had a smile on her face.”

Following two months in St Catherine’s Hospice, Mrs Collier returned to her home in Cranbourne Street, Chorley, where she died on Monday

The funeral is at 1pm next Wednesday, at Charnock Richard Crematorium. Donations to St Catherine’s Hospice.