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Popular Pat - Trafford's longest serving barmaid - dies while on holiday in Cyprus
TRIBUTES have been paid to Trafford's longest serving barmaid, who has died at the age of 82.
Pat Horlock was a friendly, welcoming face to generations of regulars at the Vine pub, in Dunham Massey, over more than half a century.
She pulled her first pint in the country pub in 1956 - and in two stints clocked up 50 years of service behind the bar.
She died peacefully in Cyprus on March 25, as she was about to return home after an enjoyable holiday.
Her daughter, Joyce Davenport, said: "The Vine was her world, it was her life.
"She loved her holidays and went abroad at least twice a year. But even when she was away she would miss the Vine and would want to know what was going on.
"The customers loved her. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and emotion that people have shown."
She added: "She was warm, generous, loving, passionate, friendly and independent and loved her lifestyle."
Great grandmother Pat, who lived in Dunham Massey, first worked in the Vine, on Barns Lane, 56 years ago. She left to work as a care assistant in a residential home but returned to the pub 46 years ago - and remained there for the rest of her life. She was affectionately known to regulars as 'Aunty Pat'.
She set up a charity book recycling scheme which has raised thousands of pounds for Francis House children's hospice in Didsbury and organised quiz nights.
And at the age of 79 she took over the reins and, with chef Mark Knight, ran the pub for several months while Sam Smith's Brewery was recruiting a new licensee.
Landlady at the Vine Gail Wilson - who took over the pub with husband Stewart five months ago - said: "She is a very hard act to follow. Everyone knew her and loved her and she was a good friend to all."
A spokesman for campaigning pub group CAMRA said: "She was the glue that held the place together through various changes of management."
Spike, a regular at the Vine, said: "I just always wanted to cuddle Aunty Pat, I'll miss my little chats and her humour."
Born in Broadheath, she married Frank in the early 1950s and the couple had two daughters, Joyce and Sue. Pat and Frank, who still lives in Dunham, separated more than 40 years ago and later divorced, although they remained friends.
Pat was mum to Joyce and Frank, Sue and Nige, sister of Robert and Michael, nana of Simon and Jen, Ness and Dave and great grandma to Eden and Elijah.
Pat's funeral - which the family says will be a service to celebrate her life - will be held at 1.30pm on April 19 at Altrincham Crematorium. Family flowers only. Donations will go to Francis House children’s hospice. Further details from Ashton Brookes funeral directors on 0161 928 2000.