Vil­lage turns out to pay trib­ute to crash land­lord

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS -

A lo­cal busi­ness­man has de­scribed how vil­lagers paid a colour­ful trib­ute to the ‘con­ge­nial’ owner of an highly-re­garded pub af­ter his tragic death. Ian Bar­ton died in hos­pi­tal five days af­ter he was in­volved in a crash on the A36, which also claimed the life of Frome Col­lege teacher Anna Kir­sopp-lewis and her un­born child. Mr Bar­ton, 62, was ini­tially taken to South­mead Hos­pi­tal in Bris­tol fol­low­ing the crash but died from his in­juries on De­cem­ber 23. He is said to have re­vived the pop­u­lar and re­spected Wheat­sheaf pub at Combe Hay along with his wife, Adele. Prop­erty de­vel­oper Trevor Os­borne was a friend and near neigh­bour to Mr Bar­ton in Combe Hay. He de­scribed how vil­lagers turned out to pay a colour­ful trib­ute to Mr Bar­ton and of­fer sup­port to his fam­ily on Christ­mas Eve - the day af­ter his death. Mr Os­borne said: “At Combe Hay, Christ­mas 2018 was tinged with sad­ness as res­i­dents learnt of the death of Ian Bar­ton, the con­ge­nial host and owner of The Wheat­sheaf - the vil­lage hostelry which Ian and his de­voted wife, Adele, saved some 10 years ago. “His fam­ily and the vil­lage have lost a much-loved and pop­u­lar land­lord of the best gas­tropub and restau­rant south of the city. “Over the years, the vil­lage has be­come ac­cus­tomed to the sound of a he­li­copter bring­ing na­tional fig­ures to The Wheat­sheaf to dine, all at­tracted by the grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion of a fam­ily-cre­ated and run coun­try restau­rant. “Ian beamed a warm wel­come as he of­fered great ad­vice both as to the food and the won­der­ful wine cel­lar which he had de­vel­oped. “Christ­mas Eve fell on the day fol­low­ing the with­drawal of Ian’s life sup­port when it be­came clear that his sur­vival could not be achieved. Coura­geously, on Christ­mas Eve morn­ing, it was an­nounced carol singing planned for the Church choir and the Vil­lagers would pro­ceed. “Ian would be proud that the vil­lage turned out wear­ing the bold­est, most out­ra­geous shirts as a trib­ute to his sar­to­rial pref­er­ences and to sup­port Adele, James, Tom and Daisy on one of the sor­ri­est days imag­in­able.” An in­quest opened into Mr Bar­ton’s death on Jan­uary 3 and was ad­journed for in­ves­ti­ga­tions to take place. He was for­merly a di­rec­tor of Lans­down of Bath mo­tor dealer.

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