YORK lost one of its favourite landlords when Bill Embleton died on Christmas Day, surrounded by his family.

Drinkers from near and far loved the landlord who used to fill Ye Olde Starre Inn in Stonegate, the Golden Lion in Church Street, and others with his laughter.

Military veterans  remember with thankfulness the soup, rolls and hot drinks that Bill provided at his own expense in the Punchbowl in Stonegate - the bar was also open - after their sometimes cold and wet march to and from Memorial Gardens on Remembrance Sundays.

“He loved it, he put his heart into every pub,” said one of his daughters, Lisa. “He was just so, so sociable and he had a great memory for faces.”

She said as well as regulars, he was able to recognise tourists returning sometimes years after their first visit.

Bill will also be remembered as Braveheart William Wallace, complete with sword and blue face, storming around the city for the Assize of Ale.

His funeral will be held at St Joseph's Catholic Church, Burdyke Avenue, Clifton,  on Monday January 22 at 10.30am followed by a burial at Fulford Cemetery.  

Anyone will be welcome, but only family members should bring flowers.   There will be a collection for St Leonard's Hospice. 

Born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1947, Bill came to York as a young man looking for work. His father, a Royal Marine Commando, was from York and his mother was Scottish.

York Press: Bill Embleton as a young manBill Embleton as a young man (Image: Embleton family photo)

Initially he worked in a butcher’s. He began his career behind the bar in the early eighties when he looked after the Imperial pub in Crichton Avenue, Clifton, while its landlord was on holiday, and did it it so much he was asked to take over when the landlord left.

It was the start of decades behind the bar that also included running the Tang Hall Hotel, now, like the Imperial, no longer in existence.

His reputation grew with breweries seeking him out to run their pubs.

“Where Dad was, he brought custom – and therefore money,” said Lisa.

Apart from a good pub atmosphere, he built a reputation for good food, donning the chef’s whites himself from time to time.

York Press: Bill and Sue EmbletonBill and Sue Embleton (Image: The Embleton family)

He and his wife Sue split the job of running their pubs between them, with Bill taking the lead in front of house work while Sue on the behind the scenes work.

For 13 years, they ran Ye Olde Starre Inn  and  for a few years during that time, they also ran The Golden Lion simultaneously splitting their time between the two and employing assistant managers.

Bill finally called it a day in 2004 when he was at the Punchbowl and for the first time in decades, he and Sue could have Christmas and New Year off.

York Press: Bill Embleton (right) and some of his family including his first great grandchildBill Embleton (right) and some of his family including his first great grandchild (Image: Embleton family photo)

They had four children, Mandy, who predeceased him, Lisa, Karl and Darren; nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. He passed away after an illness bravely borne, at his daughter’s home, surrounded by his family on Christmas Day morning.