Grieving daughter pays tribute to popular landlord

Edgar Harris
Edgar Harris
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HE was the life and soul of every pub he ran.

Now devastated family members have paid tribute to Edgar Harris, who died after he was hit by a train at Hilsea station.

Mr Harris, 81, was a pub landlord in Portsmouth for 32 years.

He began his career in 1964 at The Traveller’s Rest, in St Mary’s Road, Kingston, with his wife Margaret and children Lynn and Jimmy.

After 16 years the pub closed and the family moved on to The Graham Arms, in George Street, Buckland.

They stayed there until Mr Harris retired in 1996.

Mr Harris’ wife died 12 years ago and he lived in Portsmouth before his death.

Lynn, 57, who now runs The Northcote Hotel, in Southsea, with her husband Barry Kewell, 64, said her father was loved by everyone.

‘He was extremely popular and an absolute gentleman,’ she said.

‘There was no-one like him.

‘He was a very humble man. He always put other people before himself. If he could help anyone then he would.

‘He was just so well liked and loved.

‘He touched so many people’s lives.’

Mr Harris, who was known as ‘Bill’ and ‘The Colonel’ to his customers, was born on May 19, 1931, in the former Delhi Arms, in Somers Road North, Landport.

He spent several years away as a child evacuee during the Second World War.

He was also became a Freemason and reached the rank of Past Provincial Grand Officer.

Mr Kewell said: ‘In his personal life Bill was a devout family man and a man who thought of others before himself.

‘Bill will be sadly missed by all of his family and a host of friends, not only from the pub trade but from all walks of life.

‘He touched the hearts of many people far and wide during his time on this earth.’

Mr Harris’ parents Edgar and Lucy ran the original Golden Bell in Charlotte Street, Landport, from 1950 to 1959.

In his younger days Mr Harris loved to fish and was a member of Portsmouth Harbour Cruising Club.

He died on Friday, April 26, and an inquest has since been opened and adjourned.

He leaves behind his grandchildren Lee Kewell, 39, Samantha Kewell, 29, and Daniel Harris, 23, and great-grandchild Jordan, seven.

A service will be held at St Mary’s Church, in Fratton, at 10am on Tuesday and Mr Harris’ funeral will be held at Portchester Crematorium later that day.