TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Blackburn landlady.

Joyce Leaver, who ran several pubs and clubs in Mill Hill with her husband Clifford, died suddenly aged 84.

Her daughter, Elaine Booth, of Alderney Close, said: “Her first love was being a landlady, and she used to sing in clubs as well.

“She loved socialising and she enjoyed her family. She loved parties, she was a party girl, and liked to dance.”

Born and raised in Mill Hill, Mrs Leaver, whose maiden name was Norse, met her husband of 51 years as a 14-year-old in Green Park.Together they raised Elaine and their son Shaun, while Mrs Leaver worked as a conductress.

In the late 1960s, they took over the Mill Hill Working Men’s Club in Moorgate Street before moving into the Forest Arms in 1967.

In 1971, the family moved to the New Inn, in Duckworth Street, Darwen, which became the only time Mrs Leaver moved out of Mill Hill.

Then, in 1977, she and Clifford, who died almost 12 years ago aged 72, took over the Mill Hill Hotel in Bridge Street – more commonly known as the New Pub – where they remained until 1982 when they left the pub trade.

Mrs Leaver went on to open a haberdasher’s on the corner of King’s Road, and to work sewing for Rosenda. When walking through the area with her family, she would often be greeted by people who fondly remembered her days as a landlady.

Elaine added: “She made all her own clothes, and even made my wedding dress. She was always busy.”

Mrs Leaver suffered from ulcers on her legs in later life, and had cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin. She developed an infection and was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital on June 29. She died the next day.

She is also survived by grandchildren Michelle, Stuart, Natalie, Ruth, Sam, and Marcail, and great-grandchildren Taylor, Alysia, Ryan, and Amelia.

A funeral service will be held next Monday from 11.30am at St Aidan’s Church, Mill Hill, before cremation at Pleasington. Donations can be made to the Critical Care Unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital. Cheques payable to ‘ELHT’ can be sent care of Blackburn Funeral Services, in New Wellington Street.