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Tributes to popular Ship Centurion landlord and Whitstable legend Armin Birks, who died in Germany

Ship Centurion landlord Armin Birks
Ship Centurion landlord Armin Birks

Popular pub landlord Armin Birks has died, prompting a wave of tributes to a “Whitstable legend”.

Mr Birks, who ran the Ship Centurion in the High Street with his wife Janet and son Roland, died in his native Germany yesterday evening.

His family is thought to have been with him.

Mr Birks with his son Roland
Mr Birks with his son Roland

Since taking over the pub in 1995, the larger-than-life character became well-known for his impressive floral displays.

While at the helm of the Ship, he steered it to victory at the Whitstable in Bloom awards year after year.

The town centre boozer also claimed the title of East Kent CAMRA pub of the year in 2008, and is regularly featured in CAMRA's annual Good Beer guide.

As news broke of Mr Birks’ death, friends and pub regulars took to Facebook to leave messages of condolence and share their memories.

Lesley Cookman said, “My god. So sad, an icon gone,” while Donna Dwight posted, “Sad news, a Whitstable legend. Goodbye Armin”.

Julia Nutten added: “RIP Armin, gone but never forgotten. I’m sure we will be talking about this unique character for a long time to come.”

Along with his wife, he previously ran the Bear and Key from 1974 to 1979.

As well as Janet and Roland, he leaves behind another son, David.

Leave your tributes to Armin Birks below.

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