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Tributes paid to popular Cheshire publican Alan Frain

TRIBUTES have been paid following the shock death of a much-loved landlord who ran country pubs across Cheshire for more than 25 years.

TRIBUTES have been paid following the shock death of a much-loved landlord who ran country pubs across Cheshire for more than 25 years.

Popular publican Alan Frain, from Tilston, passed away in his sleep after suffering heart failure in the early hours of Wednesday, November 16.

The 57-year-old, along with his wife Janet, ran The Bunbury Arms in Stoak having previously been landlord at the Morris Dancer in Kelsall and The Thatch at Faddiley.

Alan, who was originally from Hartlepool, also had a spell running the Boathouse on the River Dee in Chester.

He was married to Janet for 34 years and had three children – Laura, 27, Bradley, 25, and Lerryn, 21.

His daughter Laura said: “It's been really heart-warming to hear so many great things said about our dad by regular customers, colleagues and friends.

“We’ve always felt extremely proud and lucky to have such a brilliant, caring and undeniably entertaining dad, and knew he was a legend, but it’s great to see he obviously was in other’s eyes too.

“His cracking sense of humour and silly ways, and the support and love he’s given us all as a family, will be missed and remembered forever.”

The Bunbury Arms restaurant supervisor Jamie Garside added: “Alan and his brilliant sense of humour will be sadly missed by everyone at The Bunbury. He was a great character and a great boss, and will always be remembered.”

Mark and Julie Parry, who run the Carden Arms in Tilston said: “Alan enjoyed his family free time in Tilston.

“He was very proud of his daughters Laura and Lerryn and their achievements and overjoyed when his son Bradley joined the Royal Engineers.

“As a neighbour and fellow publican our thoughts are with you all.”

In 2009, Alan was presented with an award from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) for achieving more than 25 entries in the annual Good Beer Guide.

The Bunbury Arms also won CAMRA Pub of the Year and Regional Summer Pub of the Year, and Alan even had a beer specially brewed for him called ‘Big Al’s Breakfast Bitter’.

Brian Vardy, chairman of the Chester and South Clwyd branch of CAMRA, said: “Alan Frain was one of the very best licensees you could ever meet.

“He had a unique understanding of pub customers and how to make them welcome.

“He always made time to talk to his customers and always had an interesting tale to tell.

“If more pub licensees could be like Alan then the licensed trade would be much more successful than it currently is and far fewer pubs would be closing.”

The funeral takes place at Tilston church at 12pm on Friday, December 2.

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