Friday, January 09, 2009

Paul Westmoreland (1948-2009)

Huddersfield has lost one of it’s great pub characters this week with the sudden passing of Paul Westmoreland.

A well known regular at the Rat & Ratchet on Chapel Hill, Paul would convincingly play the archetypal grumpy old man, the obnoxious lecher, the outspoken bigot and the bloke every landlord begrudgingly puts up with, but who in all seriousness was a widely travelled and knowledgeable man whose generosity and appreciation of the finer things (not just ale and curry!) made him a pleasure to be with - except after ale and curry!

Whether we were hopping on a train down the Colne Valley to sample a new beer, planning the prophesied trip to the Emirates to watch Town or simply passing a wet Sunday afternoon in front of the pub TV, it was always fun. His humour would be laconic and pointed, totally un-PC and often downright vulgar, but somehow he managed to get away with it where less charismatic individuals would most certainly have found themselves missing a few front teeth!

As a relative newcomer to the town I don't go back far enough to share the memories of many who knew him - but those I do have will endure. We all need colourful characters in our lives and whilst this is a very sad time, I am eternally indebted to the beer gods for ensuring our paths crossed on that winter's evening five years ago in what has since become my favourite watering hole too.

And if the measure of a good pub is as much about the quality of the people who use it as it is about the beer, then the Rat is a poorer place without it's number one grouch. I will no doubt be back there in due course, trying to be cheerful and celebrate the life - but to be totally honest, like so many at the moment, I just feel robbed.

Rest In Peace Paul – you are sorely missed.

Anyone wishing to leave their condolences here can be assured they will be passed on to the family.


daveyravey said...

Here, Here, Will. Paul grew on me in the manner you have described. Tea-times in the Rat will never be the same again. There are plenty of grumpy old men, but he was a special one!
Dave Kendall-Smith

Anonymous said...

There is very little else one can add to Will's eulogy, Paul was a great character, and one it was a priviledge to have known. Thank you Paul for all the memories.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Will for a touching and honest eulogy which has both made me cry and laugh out loud.
This is a difficult time made easier knowing that Dad had so many good friends who will miss him as much as I will.
Thank you again,
Helen x