A “proud and law-abiding” north Norfolk publican who never served after closing time has died aged 87.

Timothy Stone, of Cromer, was the face of The Suffield Park pub based on Mill Road in the seaside town and ran it alongside his wife of 67 years, Daphne.

Born on February 23, 1935, in Berden, Essex, Timothy Arthur Nathaniel Stone spent his childhood in Start Hill, Bishop’s Stortford, under the flight path of Stansted Airport.

After leaving school aged 16, he enlisted in the Royal Navy. Following his naval career, he took over the Suffield Park in 1975 at the age of 40.

His daughter, Karen Soane, said he had been “proud” of both of these achievements. She said: "He was also very proud of his children’s achievements and always put his family first."

Mr Stone married Daphne in 1955, having been pen friends for 18 months. They became engaged two weeks after meeting in person for the first time and married 10 months later.

They had six children; Karen (1958), Kevan (1960), Tessa (1962), James (1974), Gavin (1976) and Sarah (1979). Kevan died in 1972 from leukaemia.

“There are so many memories,” Mrs Soane added.

“I was born in Singapore, where mum and dad enjoyed riding their Vespa moped, to the consternation of local taxi drivers.

“While dad served in Bahrain from 1966 to 1968, we used to go fishing on Arab Dhows in the Persian Gulf. And our parents would entertain young sailors, who were there without their families, so that they had some comfort of home. They would come with us swimming and to the beach.”

The couple also enjoyed travelling around the world and would often take the family camping. Outside of family life, Mr Stone enjoyed doing crosswords, gardening, making beer and wine, and pickled onions.

She added: “Dad was honest, caring, strict and law-abiding. He would never serve anyone after time and customers always respected that.

“He always put other people first. He was a good man, very honest - almost to a fault - gregarious and loved people.”

Mr Stone died in Tamar House care home, Cromer, where he moved after being cared for at home for 18 months after being diagnosed with mixed dementia and Alzheimer’s three years ago.

His son, Gavin Stone, added: "In the end, through a cruel illness, Dad died alone. But when you think about it, if he meant something to someone, if you helped someone or loved someone, if even if a single person remembers you then maybe you never really die and maybe this isn’t the end at all."

Mr Stone died on April 15 – three days before the 50th anniversary of his first son’s passing – and leaves behind his wife, children, 13 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.