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Bernard Brindley (3rd June 1950 to 20th April 2014)

On 09/05/14 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

I was able to drive to the very beautiful village of Monks Kirby in Warwickshire to share with some 500 others and his family the funeral for Bernard Brindley and to celebrate his life.

In his tribute Phil Dixon said right at the beginning; for someone who helped others so much, it is tragic that his life was cut short so early. His Father at 89 was unfortunately not able to be there, but the thoughts of all in the congregation were with him, Bernard’s wife Lorna and his children and grandchild.

We heard that Bernard was half Maltese, his Mother having met his Father during the Second World War. His sometimes steely stance when warranted could be put down to the ‘Maltese Factor!’. He was a committed Roman Catholic and his family came from a requiem mass at his own church to St Edith’s because it was so much larger and could accommodate all those who wanted to be there to pay their respects.

Bernard began life as a chef, but soon moved to working in some of the foremost hostelries in the local area and eventually owned his own pub; the White Lion in Pailton, near Rugby. He was there for over 20 years and according to Phil he ran one of the best and most successful pubs he had ever seen. When asked by Phil on a visit the GP on his spirits, Bernard was able to go through each one and tell him down to three decimal points!

When eventually Bernard and Lorna decided to sell on the lease, Bernard expanded his role of giving something back. Chairman of the Rugby National Licensed Victuallers, he was Regional Chairman of the British Institute of Innkeeping and became its national Chairman in 2012. He was also Chairman of the Pub Governing Body bringing together pub companies and lessee organisations. He was a trustee of the Licensed Trade Charity and was often out visiting those in need.

For me, Bernard a lovely man with whom I enjoyed working. He would call me to discuss an issue, particularly for the PGB. I had huge respect for his experience as a publican and always welcomed his advice. He was kind, honest and always prepared with a thoughtful point of view. He did not enjoy the politics, but was determined to rise above it and play his part to help those who run pubs to make them as successful as possible (not many could be as successful as his!).

As we sung the hymn known by many as ‘How Great Thou Art’; the last verse;

“When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart;
Then shall I bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim; my God how great thou art”.

Bernard was a great stalwart of our industry; he gave so much time to us all. He himself was ‘great’ and as we stood shoulder to shoulder in our respect for him: industry veterans, pub company senior executives and licensees, I only hope that Bernard’s work can continue and that others with his experience will step forward and give as much as he did. He will be very much missed by us all.


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