Tributes to loved Bradford on Avon landlord

This Is Wiltshire: Michael Bishop, pictured at a cider festival held at the Dog and Fox in Ashley which marked his 70th birthday Michael Bishop, pictured at a cider festival held at the Dog and Fox in Ashley which marked his 70th birthday

Tributes have been paid to a much loved, retired pub landlord, who died recently, aged 77.

Michael Alan Bishop – known by his regulars as Alan or ‘Bishy’ – was a pivotal figure in Bradford on Avon. He was the landlord at The George for 10 years, worked at Winsley Social Club for five years and then spent 21 years as the landlord at the Dog and Fox.

His family said they had been overwhelmed with the number of phone calls and texts received from people offering condolences following Mr Bishop’s death on Monday last week.

His daughter Beth Goater, said: “It is amazing how many knew him. The pub was his life and he would do anything for anyone.

“He was very laid back, but was always strict on himself and never drank while he was behind the bar. Even when drinking, he would only ever have half pints.

“He never wanted to retire and sit about doing nothing, so he returned to Winsley Social Club in 2010, to help a few evenings a week.”

Bruce Moss met Mr Bishop when he became landlord at The George in 1981 and the pair remained best friends.

They travelled all over the world together, to watch cricket and enjoy holidays.

Mr Moss said: “He was a good travel companion and a wonderful friend. He loved the beach, meeting people and enjoying the culture the countries had to offer.

“He loved jazz and every year we would see Jools Holland perform in Bristol, which we thoroughly enjoyed.”

During his time at the Dog and Fox, Mr Bishop ran four darts teams, two cribbage teams, two quiz teams and a football team.

“He was a people person and always wanted to be in the centre of everything. I am going to miss him very much,” added Mr Moss.

Andrew Rose had known Mr Bishop since he was a teenager, playing for The George football team, for which the landlord played in goal. Mr Rose continued to play a variety of sports with the landlord and even spent several months in Cornwall, on a building job with him.

He said: “He was a generous, kind and very supportive man. Anywhere there was a game, he would be there. He was very accommodating and always put on a spread of food after matches and made sure everyone had a drink.

“He raised a lot of money for charity, including Dorothy House and Bradford Town Youth Football Club.”

His funeral is today, at Christ Church, Bradford on Avon, at 2.45pm. Donations will go to Bradford Town Youth Football Club.

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