Tribute to pub landlord

A LOVING tribute was paid today to a well-known former Ipswich pub landlord who has died suddenly aged 76.

A LOVING tribute was paid today to a well-known former Ipswich pub landlord who has died suddenly aged 76.

Len Warden ran the Grand Old Duke of York pub in Woodbridge Road with his wife Margaret for 20 years before retiring.

During their two decades behind the bar they made many good friends and became well-known throughout the town.

Today Margaret, 64, told of her sadness over her “caring” husband's death, caused by heart problems on Monday.

She said: “It was such a shock.

“Since Christmas he had been coming on fine. He was doing very well and started going out with his daughter and going round to his son's.

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“He hadn't been to the hospital since about January.”

The Wardens ran the Duke of York from 1970 to 1990 after running The Rose at Crowfield for two years.

Prior to that ,Mr Warden had been an electrician and foreman for Eastern Electricity for 20 years and previouisly worked on the railways, after leaving school.

Mr Warden, who was born in Alan Road in Ipswich and lived in Wren Avenue with his wife before his death, had a triple heart bypass in 2004 and had suffered lung problems, but, since Christmas his health had appeared to improve.

He had been a diabetic for 27 years and had lost his toes to the condition but carried on to live a full life.

Mrs Warden said her husband of 35 years had loved his life as a pub landlord.

She said: “He loved the socialising. We had two football teams, three men's darts teams, three ladies darts teams and a domino team.

“We've still got friends from those days who come and see me now.”

She described her husband as “very caring, very happy and a good father”.

Prior to going into the pub trade Mr Warden also spent time serving teas at Portman Road football ground - the home of his beloved Ipswich Town. And he spent time driving a van for Peter's Ice Cream.

In his later years his great loves were his four children from his second marriage, Michael, Brian, Sandra and Mark, and his eight grandchildren who age from 11 to 19.

Mrs Warden said: “He was wonderful with his grandchildren. They thought the world of him and he thought the world of them.”

Mr Warden's funeral will be held at Ipswich crematorium on May 1.

Do you want to pay tribute to Len Warden? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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