AN ADMIRABLE landlord who spent 20 years pulling pints at three Halstead pubs has died aged 88.

Fred Bright’s legacy will live on thanks to the lasting impact he left on the wider community.

Fred and wife Doreen’s first Halstead pub project came in 1964, when they moved into the Napier Arms in Head Street.

But after struggling to pull in the punters as a result of the town’s saturated pub scene, Fred was forced to supplement the couple’s income by also working as a blacksmith – the profession he had excelled in before becoming a landlord.

Following the slow start, Mr and Mrs Bright’s enticing connection with the locals saw an influx in business and the couple spent six years pulling pints for loyal customers. The pair’s success presented them with the opportunity to take over at the Three Pigeons on Mount Hill in 1970.

During their nine-year residency, both Fred and Doreen exercised their love of community by running a social club and several football teams and raising thousands of pounds for charities.

For a short while the couple were stewards at the Conservative Club in Halstead, where they again increased members and takings, before relocating to the Swan in Long Melford in 1983.

After eight years at the Suffolk tavern it was here Mr and Mrs Bright would pull their final pints before going on to enjoy retirement.

Fred’s son Graham, 58, has now been able to pay tribute to his dad following the funeral last month.

He said: “My dad was a kind, tolerant and extremely hard-working man and he was always willing to help anybody.

“He had a very challenging childhood but was still one of the nicest people I have ever met.”

Fred’s daughter Linda Percival, 62, highlighted the role he played as a father figure to her sons.

She said: “My dad was amazing, kind, caring, thoughtful and loved his family.

“I was a single parent so he would often look after my boys and they said he was a giant of a man who they looked up to.

“Everyone had a good word to say about him.”

Mr Bright died peacefully at the end of April.