Tributes to pub landlord Tom Sugden, 74, who saw the world and loved his Halifax home

Biker: Tom was riding his Gold Wing trike (young friend pictured on it) until four months ago
Biker: Tom was riding his Gold Wing trike (young friend pictured on it) until four months ago

Hundreds of messages of condolence have been received by the family of a publican whose life took him all around the world and back home.

Tom Sugden, who passed away aged 74 on September 11 after fighting cancer, was landlord at The Shay, The Golden Pheasant and finally The Railway Hotel at Ovenden, Halifax.

Devoted couple: Tom and Wynmarie Sugden at The Railway Hotel, Ovenden, Halifax. Tom has passed away aged 74

Devoted couple: Tom and Wynmarie Sugden at The Railway Hotel, Ovenden, Halifax. Tom has passed away aged 74

Born and raised in Skircoat, Halifax, Tom left Haugh Shaw School at 15 to begin an apprenticeship, including studies at Halifax Technical College, with Harry Lizamore at Bell Hall, leaving at 21 to become a foreman at Dews Garage, Halifax. From aged 16 he had been a keen biker and worried his mother with a series of accidents.

But at a Valentine Party he met his wife Wynmarie, who was a Mod, and they married at St Mary’s RC Church, Halifax. Wynmarie said the accidents stopped, to his mum’s relief, but after the young couple moved to Nelson she was homesick and returned to Halifax. Tom took the break-up of his marriage very badly and vowed they would get back together one day. He joined the Merchant Navy as a marine engineer and loved life on board ship, sailing around the world including on the support ship Miranda during the “cod wars” in Iceland.

He kept up his motorbiking, frequently attending rallies and taking in many countries, and he and Wynmarie did get back together, remarrying at King Cross Methodist Church, Halifax, and having 26 happy years together with their family since. Tom and Wynmarie bought The Railway and she will continue to run the pub. Very much loved by his wife, children and grandchildren, Wynmarie said more than 500 messages of condolence had so far been received. She said: “Tom would be amazed at the amount of messages sent at his passing. He will be missed by all that knew him.”