Tribute to a village character

A FORMER manager of the Roebuck Inn, Stevenage, who in retirement became a village correspondent for the North Herts Gazette has died. Originally a manager for Trust Houses, Reg Johnson and his wife Betty and their children Chris and Anne arrived in Steve

A FORMER manager of the Roebuck Inn, Stevenage, who in retirement became a village correspondent for the North Herts Gazette has died.

Originally a manager for Trust Houses, Reg Johnson and his wife Betty and their children Chris and Anne arrived in Stevenage in the late 50s where he ran the Roebuck Inn.

This was very much in the early days of the development of Stevenage as a new town and Reg created a strong community around the pub and was involved in the development of it as a motel.

He then joined local company Mildenhall Caterers and played a lead role in transforming the Clock at Welwyn from a restaurant to a substantial banqueting and accommodation hotel.

A series of strokes forced premature retirement from the Clock but he continued to be active, playing a key role in the community of Welwyn by writing his weekly column.

In gathering his news he would often be seen being pulled along by his dog Polly.

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After the Gazette closed, he continued writing for Comet sister paper the Welwyn and Hatfield Times until Parkinson's Disease gained the better of him three years ago

A man of vision and positive thinking who rarely had an unkind word to say about anyone, Reg was an old-fashioned hotel manager who always believed in putting the customer first, and ensuring that they enjoyed their stay or visit to his hotel, said his son.

Reg died aged 82 on Sunday last week. His funeral took place at Harwood Park Crematorium today (Thursday) with donations to Parkinson's Disease Society.

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