Well-known former hotelier David Northway has died aged 74 after a battle with cancer.

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Mr Northway, from Park Road, Cromer, ran hotels at Overstrand and Northrepps and was a founder member of a north Norfolk hoteliers association.

He was born in Oxford on February 7 1939, and educated at a Roman catholic-run Salesian college. Ne became a choirboy and later head chorister at St Mary the Virgin church in Oxford.

After a National Service spell in the Army Pay Corps he did a variety of jobs in bars, stirring steak and kidney in large vats for Brazills pies, and a bread round, before becoming a Betterware sales representative and later a manager.

When his mother moved to Aylmerton she saw the Overstrand Court Hotel was for sale, and asked David to help her buy and run it.

They ran it from 1972 but in October 1978, on Friday the 13th , the hotel was badly damaged by a fire, and did not reopen until repairs were complete in March 1979.

Mr Northway, a keen cyclist in his younger days, cycled to Norwich to sort out repairs with insurance loss adjusters.

He married wife Mary - then a teacher at Suffield Park infants school - in 1975. She said: “Some guests had to evacuate in their nightwear - one was very distressed at not remembering her false teeth and engagement ring.”

The hotel has been leased out, and it saw Mr Northway running the Overstrand Cliff Top Café in the summer months, and a taxi service during the winter, as well as doing sales work for Oliver’s Industrial Lamps.

Mr Northway was a founder member of a local hoteliers association, formed to help each other, group buying power, and to provide social activities.

The Northways later ran the Parson’s Pleasure, a small hotel at Northrepps from 1994 until David sold it 1999 after suffering a heart attack.

In retirement the couple visited family in New Zealand, an he helped his wife with her community work with Rotary and the Cromer hospital friends.

In 2012 he was diagnosed with cancer, which appeared to have gone after treatment, but re-emerged in July this year.

Mr Northway made the most of his final four months helped by his strong faith, said his wife of 38 years, who paid tribute to the doctors and nurses who cared for him at Cromer and Norwich.

He died in Benjamin Court at Cromer, leaving a wife, three sons, and five grandchildren.

A funeral service has been held at Cromer Parish church.

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