TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known former pub landlord and baker in York, who helped raise thousands of pounds for charities.

Jim Hardie died earlier this month at the age of 59 after a short illness.

He was landlord of the Blue Bell pub in Fossgate from 2000 to 2015, and then took over the Via Vecchia bakery in Shambles.

He had also worked at the Golden Ball pub, on Cromwell Road, in the Bishophill area of York, for a few years.

Jim was passionate about rugby and used to play for York Railway Institute Rugby Club. His good friend Steve Morrison first got to know him through rugby about 30 years ago.

Steve said: “He was a social guy, though he was quite quiet.

“He was such a lovely person. He’s one of the best friends I have ever had. He was funny and he cared about people.”

Jim was part of a group called Ales Angels, which included regulars from the Blue Bell, who collectively raised thousands of pounds for various charities.

They completed numerous fundraising challenges, which included breaking the world record for being the fastest team to pedalo the full-length of Loch Ness, taking two-and-a-half days.

Jim stayed on as a baker after Via Vecchia was taken over in 2018 by Phil Pinder and Adam Scott.

The business, which was rebranded, Pinder and Scott, closed in July this year.

Phil said: “Jim was a hard worker. He always had a good story. Everyone knew it was Jim’s bread.”

Jim was born in Cockermouth in Cumbria, and when he was young he moved to Australia with his family for a short time, before they moved back to England.

His family said he was a “much-loved husband of Sue, dear brother to Alan, Liz and Jean, a loving stepfather, grandad and uncle, also a good friend to many.”

His funeral will take place at York Crematorium on December 2 at 11.40am. Donations instead of flowers may be given to Macmillan Cancer Care and Whitby Lifeboats.