Published: 12:15, 08 June 2021
| Updated: 12:17, 08 June 2021
The death of Deal's longest serving landlady has prompted an outpouring of grief from her family and many customers who became her friends.
Margaret Moran, 79, was landlady of the Forester in The Marina for in excess of 40 years.
She was described by her family as a "real life Peter Pan" with a sharp wit and prone to "sporadic outbursts of dance".
Born in December 1942 in Glinsk, Galway, Ireland, she worked at the Odeon Hotel where she saved up enough money to travel to London by boat, a journey she took in 1966.
Her first job was at the Cumberland Hotel in London. She also worked at Buckingham Palace as a waitress at the Queen's garden parties.
From there she had a series of pubs which she ran with husband Patrick who she married in 1968.
The couple's pubs included The Prince of Wales in Balham and the Coach and Horses in Blackheath.
Together they had daughter Jacqueline, who was born in the capital in1969.
Patrick died in1974 aged 27. Four years later in 1978 Mrs Moran moved to The Forester at Deal.
Grandson Patrick Townsend said: "She got to the point where she wanted to buy her own pub and Deal was somewhere she thought would be a good place for that."
She made it her own and lived above the pub overlooking the sea.
Despite changes in the pub trade, with boozers being turned into trendy bars, Mrs Moran kept the establishment as a traditional pub. This added to the attraction for her many customers.
The Forester was always immaculate and her beer garden was pristinely kept, the lawn was adorned with colourful borders and rose bushes. In the summer, roses cut from her garden were often seen in a vase or glass on the bar, a sign of her pride in the place.
But aside from providing a warm and welcoming establishment, it was Mrs Moran's kind and quirky personality that turned a customer into a regular and a regular into a friend - of which she had a great many across the town and beyond.
She was known affectionately as 'Mags' by some of her friends.
Mrs Moran would regularly be seen perched on a chair behind the bar sipping vodka and soda or prosecco from a test tube shaped glass. With a traditional Irish welcome she would pour the perfect Guinness complete with shamrock on the top.
Mrs Moran died at the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital on Friday.
She became unwell on Thursday and suffered what was described as heart attack symptoms in the morning before being taken into the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital.
Mr Townsend added: "By chance, Raj, a regular at the pub, happened to be the paramedic who was on call.
"He and a team of them did a fantastic job to get her out and give us the opportunity to be able to say goodbye to her properly.
"As a family we want to say a huge thanks to them and Geeta who found her at the pub and called the emergency services."
At the hospital Mrs Moran held on until her family arrived and she passed away with her daughter and son in law beside her.
In a joint statement, her family said: "Margaret was a real life Peter Pan, always reminding us to 'Never grow up, because grown-ups are boring'.
"She has filled so many people with joy over her long and fulfilling life and will always be remembered for her sharp wit, huge heart and sporadic outburst of dance when she was excited."
She leaves a daughter Jacqueline, son in law Colin, grandson Patrick and two grandaughters Shannon and Erin and many friends.