Tributes to ‘legendary’ Graham - Branscombe’s loved bar manager
- Credit: Archant
Tributes have been paid to a popular Branscombe bar manager, who has been described as one of life’s ‘one-off’ characters.
Graham Williams became the locals’ favourite, working at both the Mason Arms and the Fountain Head.
Some 200 people packed into St Winfired’s Church last week to say farewell to the 70-year-old, who died at the end of October.
Graham grew up near Birmingham with his three sisters and moved to the village in 1964 for a summer bar job - and never left.
Friends recalled his ‘legendary’ witticisms and parties, as well as his private nature.
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Teresa Hoare and Jon Woodley, who run the Fountain Head, said members of staff regarded him as ‘family’ and that he would be missed by a ‘legion of drinkers’.
Speaking to the Herald this week, they said: “Graham was one of life’s ‘one-offs’.
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“He had that rare gift to be able to talk to ‘cat or King’ and exercised this talent to great effect in Branscombe’s pubs.
“Graham was extremely loyal to his friends and was mindful to the last of their wellbeing.”
The bar manager was fondly remembered for ‘keeping a proper pub’ and for his involvement within the community.
Teresa and Jon added: “He was very willing to take part in village activities, licensee of the village hall, coaching the football team, captaining the skittles team and even suffering a custard pie while dressed as a baby for charity.”
Friend John Hughes said 300 people attended a wake in Branscombe Village Hall, where Graham worked in his spare time as bar manager.
Mr Hughes added: “There were not a lot of people that he didn’t know.
“He was a very private person and he had a dry sense of humour
“He liked to party; his birthday parties were something. Everything had to be perfect.
“He will be missed - there’s no doubt about that.”
A memorial dinner will be held in the Fountain Head early next year.