Published: 13:41, 15 June 2021
| Updated: 15:31, 15 June 2021
Pub regulars are clubbing together to buy a bench to remember Deal's longest serving landlady - with the help of a namesake racehorse.
Geeta Seegobin is organising the fundraiser in memory of Margaret Moran who ran the Forester in Deal for over 40 years.
Mrs Moran, affectionately known as Mags, died aged 79 on Friday, June 4 after suffering what appeared to be a heart attack.
She was taken from the pub to the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital earlier that day but never recovered and died with her daughter Jacqueline and son-in-law Colin beside her.
Last week she was described as a "real life Peter Pan" by her family who said she'd enjoyed a full life and brought joy to many.
The collection was started via the GoFundMe fundraising website on Thursday.
The description says: "We are raising money for a memorial bench to be put in somewhere near the Forester for our favourite landlady."
The online total now stands at £820 and cash donations worth £885.90 have been handed over inside the pub which has remained open.
An excitable boost came on Saturday thanks to many of Mrs Moran's friends and family having a flutter on a namesake horse.
Early that day in a text group chat Ms Seegobin, who often helped Mrs Moran behind the bar, told regulars she and Mrs Moran liked to have a bet on a Saturday and this week she was in no doubt which horse she'd be backing.
A screen shot of the racecard showed Ey Up It's Maggie was running the 3.40 at York.
It sparked a flurry of pledges that if any winnings came in, the money would go straight into the fundraising pot.
With odds of around 28-33/1 those who put on each-way bets raked in hundreds for the fund when the three year-old filly thundered in third jockeyed by Kieran Schofield.
Ms Seegobin said: "Margaret and I put £50 each into a Bet365 account and if we saw a funny name or a name of someone we knew on a racecard we would spend about 50p to £1.
"This has probably been going for around three years now.
"The winnings would go into that account and we never needed to top it up.
"When I saw that horse on Saturday I thought 'That's exactly what me and Margaret would have done'.
'When I put it in the group chat, never in a million years did I think that people would put money on it because it wasn't a hot tip or anything...'
"When I put it in the group chat, never in a million years did I think that people would put money on it because it wasn't a hot tip or anything!"
But they did and Mrs Moran's family even went into the pub to watch the race.
When Ey Up It's Maggie finished third "people were clapping, it was amazing," she said.
"Margaret would be laughing her socks off thinking that our sneaky betting would ever reach the paper!"
Each-way means you are betting on two things: The first is that the horse will win. The second is that it will finish anywhere up to 5th place. If it does, the customer gets a return.
The fund target is £3,000 and some winnings are still to come in.
Meanwhile Dayle and Donna Melody of The Farrier in Upper Deal have also been raising cash in Mrs Moran's honour.
They have a target of £1,000. On Sunday they collected £220 at a barbecue cooked by customer Jane Baker using meat the couple had donated. There will be others at the Manor Road pub during each televised England game throughout the Euro championships and eventually a grand raffle.
Today Mr Melody said he had accepted a £30 meat voucher donated by ex-Magnet landlord John Judd who is adding an extra £100 to the Farrier's tally.
More donations for the raffle are welcome.
To donate visit GoFundMe and search Bench for Mags or click herehttps://gofund.me/b5c6dd54.
Funeral details for Margaret Moran are still being finalised and will be released in the days to come.