Former Norwich landlord dies

A former pub landlord who ran two pubs in the city has died, aged 82.

Derek Curston, known as Dick, was landlord of the William IV pub in Telegraph Lane East, Thorpe Hamlet in the 1970s, and went on to the Bricklayers in Bull Close, which is now demolished, where he retired in the mid-1980s due to ill health.

His family said he was 'one in a million' and a dedicated husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather. 'He was a gentle man, mild-mannered and good humoured and had a very easygoing nature. Nothing seemed to faze him and he had an enormous, kind and generous heart,' the family said.

Mr Curston, who lived in Clover Hill, Bowthorpe, was born on Boxing Day and started his working life as a motor mechanic in the village of Thompson, near Watton.

A keen boxer, he used to travel to Norwich to box at the Norwich Lads Club. He continued to box whilst doing his National Service in the Army and showed immense potential as a featherweight.

But when he returned from the army he had a spate of illness which left him unable to continue boxing.

He did several jobs before he settled as an agent for the Liverpool Victoria Insurance company and stayed for many years and moved through promotion to Bletchley in Buckinghamshire. He returned to Norwich in the mid 1970s when he became landlord of the William IV, which was renowned as a good dart and pool pub. After the William IV he went to the Bricklayers in Bull Close where he retired in the mid 1980s.

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His son Martyn became a pool player for Norfolk and went on to play for England so whenever he could he would go and support him.

He was still an ardent boxing supporter and would go to local bouts to watch the young talent.

He was admitted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and died on December 8. The funeral was held at Earlham Crematorium yesterday.

He leaves a wife Patricia, sons Robin and Martyn, grandchildren Naomi, Natalie, Lucy and Daniel and great-granddaughter Emily.