A PUB owner and chairman of Dearham Parish Council has died of Covid.

George Brown and his wife, Gerry, ran the Commercial Inn for 33 years.

He decided to lease a pub when he was made redundant from a job on the railways.

The couple moved to Halifax, but when that pub was put up for sale, they decided to look elsewhere.

A friend found the commercial and the couple moved here with no knowledge of the area.

“We have both loved being here,” Mrs Brown said.

She said she could not keep the pub going and hoped to sell it, but she had no intention of leaving the village.

Mrs Brown suffered a heart attack recently. She suggested that they close the pub, even temporarily, but Mr Brown would not hear of it.

“He had some health issues of his own, including diabetes. He kept it well controlled and would not stop."

She said he developed a cough but at first was told to rest. When it got worse, he was taken to hospital.

"That was sad. I could not visit him, of course. In fact, even when we collected his belongings from the hospital, we were told we were not allowed to open the bag for several days. That was difficult because he had all the phone numbers we needed on his phone.”

Mr Brown was a long-serving member of the Dearham Parish Council and served as chairman for the past two years.

The council posted a social media tribute thanking for his work. He was involved in all aspects of community life including the carnival.

He was also attached to a number of Masonic Lodges up and down the country.

“I once told a peer of his that I thought he had belonged to about 15 and was told I could probably double that.”

He was a man who worked hard to get what he wanted. He learned to fly and bought a bi-plane to rebuilt. It was eventually donated to the Carlisle flying club.

He had four prized classic cars including a Rolls Royce and a Bentley.

He fixed radios, rebuilt computers and could turn a hand to anything.

Mr Brown is survived by his wife, daughter Dawn and two grandchildren, Ben and Emma.

A service for Mr Brown will be held at the Distington Hall crematorium on Monday at noon.