Former Fence para, market stall holder and pub man dies aged 84

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MANY people will have been saddened to hear of the death of former Fence man Mr George Walsh at the age of 84.

His funeral will be held at the Torrisholme Cemetery, Morecambe, on Monday and will be conducted by an Army padre from Mr Walsh’s old regiment, the Parachute Regiment.

Mr Walsh died in hospital at Lancaster after a final brave fight for life, but pneumonia took its toll. He had previously survived complicated bypass surgery.

In recent years, Mr Walsh lived in the flats at Wheatley Close, Fence, and spent much of the summer and autumn at Ocean Edge caravan park, near Heysham, where the family enjoyed a static caravan for many years.

Unfortunately, while at Ocean Edge, a bout of serious illness meant Mr Walsh had to move into accommodation at Torrisholme, but once again he settled in happily, because of his ability to make friends wherever he went.

Locally, he will be remembered walking his dogs through Fence, where the family once lived at Laundgate.

The Walsh family ran the Forest Hotel in Cuckstool Lane in the 1980s/90s. Mr Walsh’s former wife, Maureen, was mine host and it was the last time the Forest could truly be described as a “local” pub selling pints to farmers, stockmen, villagers and businessmen who made up the surrounding community.

After serving with the Paras, Mr Walsh worked as a window cleaner, market trader, but most of all he was something of a saviour for people who had suffered the ravages of cancer. From his cosmetics stall on Burnley Market, he ran a welcomed and essential service selling and fitting wigs and toupees for those who had lost their hair. It lead to him being widely known as “Wiggy George”. He was a martial arts exponent.

His family was at his bedside when he lost his final fight. His daughter, Mrs Michelle Davies, said: “He fought hard for his life, as he has always done and we were with him - all he wanted was his family.”