Former Norwich and Bacton pub landlady dies aged 88

A former Norwich pub landlady who once ran the Eaton Red Lion among others with her late husband Eric during a 20-year career, has died aged 88.

Ethel Sanderson, who died in Lancashire on April 15, was also a former licensee at two other Norwich pubs, The Leopard in Bull Close Road, and the Duke of York in Castle Meadow.

She also ran the Duke of Edinburgh in Bacton, near North Walsham, on the Norfolk coast.

Her experience of life in a pub came early as she was born at her grandparents' home - the Plough Inn at Workington.

She and her husband-to-be first met at school in Blackpool. She spent five years in the ATS and was in the Civil Service in Blackpool, before her marriage in 1948. The couple, who were married for 58 years, came to Norwich to take charge of the Leopard in 1956.

After a few months there, they were four years at the York Hotel in Castle Meadow, where they started the Motor Bar. Both were motoring enthusiasts and members of the Norfolk Sporting Car Club.

Mrs Sanderson was a former treasurer of the club.

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They kept up their membership even after they returned for three years to Lancashire to take charge of the Aqueduct, a pub near Blackburn Rovers' ground.

But they missed Norwich so they accepted an opportunity to come back and take charge of the Eaton Red Lion, where Mrs Sanderson's mother, Margaret, lived with them.

They spent five years at the Eaton Red Lion and about 10 years at the Duke of Edinburgh in Bacton.

During their stay in Norwich they shared their popularity with Buster the cat, who they found on the market scruffy and covered in fleas.

Mr Sanderson, who spent his boyhood in Blackpool, came straight into the licensed trade in Norfolk from the RAF.

Following a narrow escape from death in 1944, which happened on his 27th bombing sortie over Germany, Mr Sanderson spent what was left of the war in enemy hands.

Mrs Sanderson leaves behind a sister, sister-in-law, aunt, great-aunt and cousin.

Her death notice in the paper said: 'Ethel will be greatly missed by all her loving family and friends.'

For funeral service details and enquiries contact D Hollowell and Sons, Devonshire House Funeral Home, Blackpool, Tel 01253 355663.

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