Popular York ex-pub landlady, Doreen Botterill, dies, aged 82

Doreen Botterill

Doreen Botterill

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A FUNERAL has been held for a former York pub landlord well-known to many for her flamboyant character and love of life.

Doreen - Doll - Botterill ran the Phoenix Pub on George Street with her late husband Jack in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and was a familiar face through the pub and her involvement in darts teams and dominoes competitions.

She died in York Hospital on August 2, aged 82, and four weeks after her youngest son Ian lost a battle with cancer.

Born to Bill and Muriel Seller in Ganton, Doreen and her two brothers were raised on the farms her father managed, and remembered the Italian prisoners of war working on the farms.

The family later moved to the Driffield area and Doreen worked in Smith's crisp factory in Hull before meeting her first husband Fred Welburn.

The couple had three children Avril, Derek and Ian and spent their early married life living in a river boat and later a converted railway carriage, before being allocated a council house and then buying their own home in Bainton.

Later they moved to York when Mr Welburn began working on the building of Clifton Bridge, before he died at the age of 47.

In 1972, Doreen married Jack Botterill, and three years later the couple bought The Phoenix, which they ran for seven years. During that time Mrs Botterill captained a darts team and played dominoes regularly. Visiting the pub recently, she met the current proprietors and gave them photographs and memorabilia from the pub's past.

On her retirement Mrs Botterill kept working, taking a job cleaning displays at Mulberry Hall where she loved to work with the crystal and china.

The couple lived in Bishopthorpe and worked on their allotment together, also enjoying holidays and travel all over the world. Mr Botterill died in 2001.

A grandmother of five, Mrs Botterill has been described by her family as "such a character", and they have paid tribute to her hard working nature, her smart and stylish dress sense, and her devotion to her grandchildren.

She will be remembered for the way she enjoyed a cigarette and half a pint of John Smith's, always with a smile, they added.

Mrs Botterill had dementia in the final years of her life, but died suddenly in York Hospital after a chest infection.

A her funeral was held on Friday, and Mrs Botterill began her journey to the crematorium from the pub she ran and loved.

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