Tributes have been paid to a well-known Cove pub landlord and Rushmoor councillor.

David Thomas died of cancer at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham on Saturday March 25 surrounded by his family. He was 73 years old.

“Dad was in the hospice for two weeks and they were very good to him,” said his daughter Sam.

“We would like any donations to go to the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.”

Mr Thomas was born in Hounslow but moved to Farnborough and started working at The Tradesmans Arms in Cove Road in 1971.

He ran that for 20 years and then moved over the road to The Old Courthouse, which he ran for another 20 years.

Mr Thomas was the last chairman of the former local licensed victuallers association.

'Greatly missed and forever remembered'

He was also a Rushmoor councillor, representing the Cove and Southwood ward and the West Heath ward, and helped raise money for good causes with Farnborough Rotary Club.

Sam said her father passed away after a brave and long struggle with cancer.

“He was surrounded by his family and loved ones during his last weeks,” she added.

“He will be greatly missed and forever remembered.

“We adored our Dad. We are heartbroken.”

'A real Farnborough legend'

Family friend Shelley Prevost said: “Dave Thomas was a real Farnborough legend.

“A publican and landlord of the Tradesmans Arms public house and later the Old Courthouse, he and his family are part of Cove’s history.

“My dad was a Tradesmans’ regular, so I grew up with the Tradesmans Arms as part of my life, as did many in Farnborough.

“Recently Dave was a topic of interest on the local Farnborough Nostalgia Facebook page with many reminiscing about him.”

Posting on the Farnborough (Hants) Nostalgia Facebook page, Charlie Aghabi said: “From 1984 to 1989 I worked full-time for Jenny and a Dave Thomas at The Tradesmans Arms in Cove. Thoroughly enjoyed working for Jenny and Dave. Pubs were great back then!”

Jonathan Smith added the Tradesmans Arms was his local, staring about 1965, through to about 1976.

'Best spuds I ever tasted'

“The Tradesmans was a ‘real’ pub back then, no TV, no machines, just a Shovehapenny board and an open fire in the saloon, which was where we drank.

“Later on in the 70s there was a new publican, Dave (Sharky) Thomas, whose wife would make roast potatoes on the weekends, free on the bar. Best spuds I ever tasted.”

Mr Thomas leaves three children, Paul, Nigel and Sam, and four grandchildren.

His funeral service will be held at Aldershot Crematorium on April 13 at 10.45am.