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Tributes paid to former Norfolk publican

PUBLISHED: 15:58 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 26 April 2019

Peter Mills in the White Lion Hotel with his wife Isabel.  Pictures: supplied by Rosemary Mills

Peter Mills in the White Lion Hotel with his wife Isabel. Pictures: supplied by Rosemary Mills

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Tributes have been paid to a former Norfolk publican, who has died at the age of 96.

Peter Mills on the bench in Apple Yard, Holt that he donated in memory of his wife and three step-children. Pictures: supplied by Rosemary MillsPeter Mills on the bench in Apple Yard, Holt that he donated in memory of his wife and three step-children. Pictures: supplied by Rosemary Mills

Peter Mills ran the former White Lion hotel in Holt for more than three decades.

He was also a keen bowls player.

His niece Rosemary Mills, who lives in Wiveton, said: “He was a well-known figure in Holt and will be sadly missed by his many family and friends.

“Peter out-lived his wife Isabel and step-sons, Kevin, Terry and Shaun and his main focus in life was on his family.

“However, he did find time for his other two loves, playing bowls and watching Norwich City FC.

“The bowling green at the White Lion was home to Holt Bowls Club and when the pub finally closed, he was key in establishing the new green at the Holt playing fields. He could regularly be seen mowing the turf up until 2005.”

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Thomas Peter Mills, or Peter as he was always known as, was born in Thetford.

He moved to Holt in 1950 after war service where, as he said, he was fortunate to miss out on any nasty bits, and several years working for Shell Oil Company both before and after his army service.

His parents were at that time running the White Lion Hotel in Holt, having moved from Thetford in 1947.

When his father died in 1955 he took over the pub with his mother.

In 1963 he married Isabel and the two of them continued to run the pub until they retired in 1987.

He was also a fan of jazz. He taught himself to use a computer at the age of 90 and loved fixing anything electrical or mechanical. Up until a few days before his death at the age of 96 he was still looking after himself in his flat with very little additional help. He even made his own bread and commented while in hospital that the bread there was inedible.

He died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on April 10, after a stroke.

His funeral service is at Cromer Crematorium on Monday, April 29 at noon.

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