TRIBUTES have been paid to former pub landlord and Lydiard Tregoze parish councillor Gerry Fenn, who died on Sunday.

Gerry, 80, originally from Exning, in Newmarket, had lived in Swindon with his wife Pat, 80, since the late 1960s.

He died at the Great Western Hospital.

When the couple, who had two daughters, Steph and Abbie, first came to Swindon from Oxford, Gerry was landlord of The Beehive, in Prospect Hill.

Steph, 49, said: “He was landlord there for 17 years. He was really well-known and became very popular, with the pub being a fab place to grow up. We had some great fancy dress parties.”

After leaving The Beehive, Gerry did a number of odd jobs and played piano around the town. Later he was approached to take over The Bolingbroke Arms, in Hook, temporarily.

“He was never one to stand still,” said Steph.

“He went to the pub and sort it out and he ended up staying there for several years.”

Gerry was extremely popular in the community and due to his profession became friends with the Arkell family through his work with the family’s brewery.

After leaving The Bolingbroke Arms, Gerry delivered newspapers and worked as a cleaner while he also served as a parish councillor.

The former landlord enjoyed making a difference to residents’ lives.

Steph said: “He absolutely loved being a parish councillor and we’ve received lots of messages following his death telling us how appreciated he was.”

Gerry met his wife Pat in Oxford and they married when they were 22. He had five grandchildren - Joe, 30, Sam, 28, Luke, 22, Jack, 13, and four-year-old Jamie - as well as two great grandchildren - two-year-old Logan and one-year-old Lydia.

Gerry was a big fan of cars and, during his time at The Beehive, he and his family would often be seen travelling around Swindon in a convertible Ford Galaxie.

He also loved music - particularly jazz.

“He loved his music. The Sunday evening jazz nights at The Beehive became legendary,” Steph said.

“He really loved playing jazz, he was a big fan of George Shearing and was so happy to meet Oscar Peterson, after he’d performed at the Wyvern Theatre. He was also a big friend of Bob Hall.”

Gerry was also a keen golfer, playing locally and going on trips around the world.

“There are so many golfing tales to do with the trips,” Steph said.

“He went to Portugal and Turkey. There was one occasion when he was on a trip to Turkey where he was staying at the hotel and kicked the pianist off the piano and started playing for the room. Slightly intoxicated, he then fell off the stool. He was always the entertainer.”

Before Gerry’s death, he had been ill, and his family want to thank those who cared for him at home and at hospital for all their support.

No funerals details have yet been arranged.