Tributes to a much-loved pub landlord

Missed: Brian Atkinson and one of his Great Danes, Ellsa, outside the County Hotel
Missed: Brian Atkinson and one of his Great Danes, Ellsa, outside the County Hotel
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The funeral of a long-serving Preston landlord will take place this Friday.

Brian Atkinson, who was a much-loved figure in the city and ran the County Arms Hotel on Deepdale Road for 29 years, passed away peacefully at Penwortham Priory Care Home on August 7 aged 81.

His son, Paul, said: “Dad was a true Preston legend in his own right and everyone knew him and his Great Danes, Bruce and Ellsa, at the County Hotel.

“He was a smart gentleman who always wore a shirt and tie and he was well-known for his yellow and red cards in his pubs.”

He added: “If you swore you got a yellow card but if you swore again you were shown the red card and asked to leave politely.”

Mr Atkinson was the landlord at a number of Preston pubs including the British Standard and Barney’s Piano Bar. He was also chairman of Preston LVA (Licensed Victuallers’ Association), president of Preston and Fulwood Boxing Association and a member of the Buffalo Brothers.

Paul said: “He owned two race horses, Super Sioux and Up The North.

“He liked going to race meetings and was a big gambler on horses.

“They always came in, unless I was betting any big money on them.”

Paul and his sister, Julie, Brian’s only surviving children would like to thank staff at the care home for looking after their dad so well.

His funeral will be held at St Walburge’s Church on Friday at 2.15pm followed by a reception at the 55th Division Club, Church Street.

Paul said: “We are expecting a pretty big turn-out so we are going to take the horse and carriage past the former County Hotel site and Barney’s Piano bar at around 3.15pm for people to pay their respects.”