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Tributes following death of Beverly Sowerby, landlady of The Ash pub at Burton End near Stansted



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Tributes have been paid to Beverly Sowerby, landlady of The Ash pub in Burton End, near Stansted, who lost her four-year battle with cancer.

"Funny and wonderful company", "a wonderful girl" and "a ray of sunshine" were just a few of the comments received by her family which were read out at a service to celebrate Beverly's life which was held at Cam Valley Crematorium, Great Chesterford, on April 14.

Beverly had been diagnosed on her 55th birthday with stage four ovarian cancer. Husband Tommy, who remains landlord at The Ash, where its flag has been flying at half mast, described his wife as "the bravest person I've ever known – the love of my life". She died on March 23, aged 59.

Beverly Sowerby (34087858)
Beverly Sowerby (34087858)

Former Ash publican and Stansted parish councillor John O'Brien, who handed over running of the pub to the Sowerbys, said: "She was a lovely person. She also took over running the coffee shop in Stansted, turning it into the Bean House, creating a wonderful atmosphere."

Dancing Queen by Abba was played at the service for "the girl who liked to live life to the full". Her mother Val Crocker, a prominent member of Bishop's Stortford Golf Club, said they had been to London in February to see the stage musical Mamma Mia! Her eulogy read: "When Dancing Queen came up at the end, Beverly got up and danced and sang with everyone else. It seemed so right to include this as part of the celebration of Beverly's life."

Beverly grew up with her parents Val and Roger and brother Guy in Bishop's Stortford, attending All Saints Primary School and the former Hadham Hall School at Little Hadham. After working for a cosmetics company and then joining the secretarial staff at BP in London, ending up as PA to head of exploration David Clarke, her life took a different turn and she met Tommy, her second husband, in 1995.

They talked about running a pub and moved into The Ash in 1996. Beverly was front of house while Tommy cooked. Business bloomed, offering wedding receptions, parties and concerts featuring Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, Marty Wilde and Chas 'n' Dave.

Tommy and Beverly married in 2003 and saw England win the Rugby World Cup in Australia that year, one of many overseas holidays they enjoyed. Beverly completed the London Marathon in 2013 with close friend Val and they raised thousands for charity.

The Sowerbys sold the Ash in 2016, but were called back by Greene King to run it again two years ago.

Her family said she fought her cancer "every inch of the way, never giving up and not complaining".

They added: "Beverly went through life with enthusiasm and was an inspiration to many. She showed so much courage and determination... A light has gone out. We will miss Beverly tremendously."



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