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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Obituary - Joe McKenna, of Crosby

Former Cockermouth pub landlord Joe McKenna has died, aged 82.

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Mr McKenna, known as Joe, and his wife of 53 years, Brenda, were landlords of the Brown Cow, the Bush Hotel, on Main Street and later the Roundabout, now the Belle Vue Inn.

Mr McKenna was brought up during World War Two in the Moss Bay area of Workington and later lived with relatives in the Church Street area of the town.

He was one of 10 siblings and was educated at St Joseph’s School and then Workington technical school.

Mr McKenna started work at the town’s steelworks before moving on to the Cumberland Cloth Factory at Northside where he and Mrs McKenna lived in one of the factory’s staff bungalows.

When the cloth factory management announced that the factory was closing in 1971, the couple were left with the dilemma of losing both his job and their home.

An opportunity arose to apply for the tenancy of the Brown Cow in Cockermouth, which belonged to the old John Peel Brewery in Workington.

The couple’s application was successful and they never looked back.

After five years at the Brown Cow they moved to the Bush, where they had a very successful 15 years before moving to the Roundabout.

They retired from the pub trade in 1996 and moved to Crosby, near Maryport.

Mr McKenna combined his role as landlord with that of goods inward clerk at James Walker in Cockermouth for 22 years, working seven days a week in both businesses.

During this time he was constantly raising money for charity with the help of pub regulars.

Guide Dogs for the Blind was one beneficiary and a lot of fund-raising was done for the building of Cockermouth swimming pool and many other local charities.

He also completed the first Cockermouth marathon and, in his retirement, he carried on with his passions of darts, dominoes and horse racing.

He also took up golf and was a member of the Bank Enders at Maryport Golf Club.

Mr McKenna is survived by his wife Brenda, son Robert, daughter-in-law Lorraine and grandchildren Carys and Dylan.


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