A former pub landlord, who was a well-liked and respected figure in Penrith, has died aged 95.
Ken Potts ran the Gloucester Arms in Great Dockray in the 1970s and it was widely considered to have been one of the best hostelries in the town during his tenure.
Always smartly dressed in suit and tie with his faithful Alsatian by his side, Mr Potts set high standards of presentation and expected similar standards from his customers too.
The Gloucester Arms was among the first pubs in Penrith to introduce bar meals and so successful was his formula that the Whitbread Brewery frequently offered Mr Potts other prestigious pubs and hotels around the Lake District.
They were offers which he politely declined. Mr Potts saw active service during the last years of the Second World War in India and the Far East with the Recce Corps.
He once narrowly escaped capture by a Japanese search party by hiding with his unit behind a waterfall.
When he returned home at the end of hostilities, his own mother did not recognise the mahogany-brown “foreigner” standing in front of her, notably thinner than the son to whom she waved goodbye before embarkation.
Mr Potts maintained military contact through the Territorials but went to work in his native Manchester, becoming warehouse manager at Massey Ferguson’s Trafford Park factory — at the time the largest warehouse in Europe.
His responsibilities included the emergency despatch of vital parts to all parts of the world and he also played a valuable role in the strike-torn era of the 1960s when disputes would flare up on the shop floor and he would find himself the mediator between the warring factions.
By now he had a young family — a son, Stephen and daughter, Elaine.
After Massey Ferguson, he took up a similar position with BMOC, part of the Great Universal Stores (GUS) group, which ran, among others, the Kays catalogue.
Responsible for multiple sites around Manchester and beyond — many being old cotton mills — Mr Potts took on the task of managing the security and maintenance of these historic buildings.
For most of his adult life he enjoyed driving and the family took holidays over the length and breadth of Britain, the Highlands of Scotland being one of his favourite destinations.
Until very recently he would think nothing of a 200-mile potter around the Scottish borders, taking in favourite tearooms and pubs along the way.
When he gave up the tenancy of the Gloucester Arms — nowadays rebranded as Dockray Hall — he was lured back to his old role at GUS until his retirement, when he returned to his beloved Lake District with his second wife Irene, buying a new house at Newton Reigny.
Some years before, he had suffered a major heart attack and had been fitted with a new titanium heart valve (the projected shelf-life of which he outlived by some margin) and he then dedicated much of his spare time to raising funds for the British Heart Foundation amassing a collection of certificates, plaques and letters from the charity in recognition of his work, of which he was justifiably proud.
Mr Potts took a keen interest in the natural world and enjoyed the companionship of his many dogs. The Udford Road at Edenhall was a particularly favourite haunt for dog walking and he became a familiar figure over the years to others sharing the same beat.
He continued to live independently until the last couple of years, in which he enjoyed the comforts of Croft Avenue care home in Penrith.