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Golden Lion: Tributes paid to legendary pub landlady Mary Murphy

She worked at pub for 40 years

14 November, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Mary Murphy receiving her lifetime achievement award in 2011

GLASSES have been raised in fond memory of a legendary landlady of one of Camden Town’s best-loved pubs.

The Golden Lion’s Mary Murphy – who was recognised with a lifetime achievement award by Camden Inner London Licensees Association (CILLA) in 2011 – died last Wednesday morning aged 83. She had worked and lived at the pub in Royal College Street for 40 years.

“She was a huge part of Camden life for so many years,” said her only son Dave Murphy. “She worked at the Golden Lion for 40 years. So many people knew her, and loved her – she will be sorely missed.”

Originally from Tuam in Galway, Ireland, she met her husband John, from Douglas, Cork, when they both worked on the buses in London. The couple always dreamed of running their own pub and in 1978 took over the Golden Lion. They worked and lived there until 2018 before moving to a sheltered housing flat in King’s Cross after Mary was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Henry Conlon, chairman of CILLA, said: “Mary Murphy is deservedly a legend. Mary worked long, hard hours and devoted herself to the customers and family. A true favourite landlady who had time for all. Mrs Murphy will be sorely missed by the Camden Town community.”

When the former World’s End pub landlord and chairman of CILLA, Mick Doheny, presented Mary with her award in 2011, he praised “her tolerance and patience has been famous down through the years”. Her funeral is at Our Lady of Hal Church in Arlington Road, Camden Town, at 10am on November 30.

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