Popular former Spalding pub landlord Cliff Boon dies at 93

Former pub landlord Cliff Boon and wife Doris.
Former pub landlord Cliff Boon and wife Doris.
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One of Spalding’s best loved faces behind the bar, Cliff Boon, has died at the age of 93.

He leaves family including wife, Doris, who was by his side for 27 years at Ye Old White Horse Inn, Churchgate.

The couple had been married for 70 years.

Cliff came from farming stock and was brought up in Stamford, leaving school aged 14 to work in Foster Brothers before joining the RAF for wartime service.

Son Mark said: “You were supposed to be 18 to join but he snuck in a little bit early.”

Cliff was a Morse code operator in West Africa, stationed in Freetown, Sierra Leone, also known as “the white man’s grave” because of the toll taken by malaria.

Mark said: “Quite a lot of his mates either died of malaria or got shipped home, jaundiced, having caught malaria.”

After the war, the couple moved to Ye Olde White Horse, turning it into a homely spot with open fires, building up the business and hosting crib and darts teams.

Mark said: “They were the archetypal landlord and landlady who were always there, apart from a Tuesday night when they used to go to the cinema.”

The couple worked all year round, including Christmas days, and Cliff provided bars for outside functions.

Mark said: “I think they were quite a feature in the town because the pub was so popular, it was always absolutely rammed.

“All their friends were from the pub and all of the people they ever knew were from there.

“Dad was always the life and soul because he always had a story and he was a good listener as well.”

The couple remained in Spalding after quitting the pub and Cliff, who went to college to study, switched to Social Services, focusing on children with problems. He worked beyond the normal retirement age, stepping down aged 70.

Cliff also leaves a daughter, Pauline, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

His funeral service takes place at midday on Wednesday, November 22 at South Lincolnshire Crematorium, Surfleet.