The Independent London Newspaper
18th August 2017

End of an era for Camden Town's pub scene as Quinn's landlord dies aged 94

    Pat Quinn, who passed away this week, and wife Margaret after winning a lifetime achievement award from licensees

    Published: 26 January, 2017
    By DAN CARRIER

    IT is a pub of local legend, an alehouse which steadfastly retained its traditional charm while others in Camden Town were enduring gastropub makeovers.

    But the buzz in Quinn’s fell silent this week with the sad news that Pat Quinn, a landlord who at one stage or another must have served half of Camden’s residents with a nightcap, has passed away aged 94.

    Mr Quinn, who had been working at the pub until the last few months and was well known among regulars, took up the running of the pub on the corner of Hawley Road and Kentish Town Road in 1988.

    His son Vincent said an anecdote about a holiday his father took to Los Angeles during which he stopped at the home of his favourite film idol, James Stewart, sprung to mind: Pat had marvelled that Stewart’s mansion was the only one that did not have high walls or security gates.

    “He said that spoke volumes about Stewart’s character,” said Vincent.

    “Stewart never had anything to be scared about and, in a way, that sums up my father, too. Dad also never needed to put up walls. He was acknowledged by all as a decent man. He was always welcoming, and it made his pub the place it was.” 

    Over nearly 30 years at the bar, Pat became a much-loved member of the Camden Inner London Licensee Association, known for his extensive work for the charities they supported, and his dedication to running a pub that is a landmark in the area.

    Oxford Arms licensee Tom Maloney, whose family have run their Camden High Street pub since the 1960s, told the New Journal that Mr Quinn was a trailblazer.

    “Patrick and his wife Margaret made Quinn’s a lovely pub. He knew running a pub was about treating people well and he influenced many others. For example, he was the first person to serve Belgium beers and was ahead of his time that way,” he said. “They were proper publicans – it is an end of an era.”

    Mr Quinn was born in County Longford, Ireland, in 1922 to a farming family. He was the eldest of four, with two younger sisters and as brother. His mother passed away when he was six years old, and in his teens he moved from his home town to work as an assistant in a hospital for people with mental health issues. 

    It was an experience that helped shape him as a young man.

    Mr Quinn came to London during the war and worked in the East End where he had contacts among Irish-born dock workers. It was the start of a career in the pub trade that would last a lifetime.

    He met Margaret, who was working as a nurse, at a dance hall and they were to be married for more than 60 years. 

    The Quinns ran pubs in Southfields, Hammersmith, White City and The Wellington in Turnpike Lane – which he persuaded Spurs legend Pat Jennings to officially open – before taking on The Duck Inn, in Kentish Town Road, in the late 1980s.

    Customers would ask him why it had such a name, which was rumoured to be because of its low ceiling. In 1992, he expanded the bar and customers suggested he call it Quinn’s.

    The pub was never modelled on an Irish theme, but its ongoing success was considered influential by industry insiders in the trend of Irish-related pubs set up by big chains such as O’Neills.

    Mr Quinn’s funeral is at Our Lady of Hal’s church in Arlington Road at noon on February 17. 

    His family say his legacy will be his pub, which will remain open as Quinn’s, and added that they wanted to thank the nursing staff at UCLH for the care they gavanted to thank the nursing staff at UCLH for the care they gave him in his final days.

    Comments

    Pat Quinn

    Pat, Margaret and the Family always made you feel welcome. Pat was a really lovely person and a gentleman, I was so sorry to hear the sad news. God Bless you Pat, my thoughts are with Margaret and the rest of the family.

    RIP Mr Quinn

    Sad news to hear of the passing of a great man and a great publican – Rest in peace Mr Quinn.

    The Quinns epitomised what a proper pub should - a great venue and always served with a smile and made to feel very welcome. It’s a shame so few of these exist today.

    The pub became the spiritual home of our local 7 aside football team 'The Mighty Quinns' which we named in honour of the establishment. I recall the time, following a few drinks, when Pat’s son Vince kindly agreed to sponsor our team enabling us to buy a set of shirts in the pub’s yellow and blue colours. We have worn these colours with pride, playing every Wednesday night for the last 10 years in a local league and visiting the pub after the game for a pint or two (sometimes 3 when we won!). Although we’ve seen players come and go during this time, there has always been a core of us right from the start and the pub and the family have come to hold a special place in all our hearts. Our deepest sympathies go out to Margaret, Vince, Kevin & family at this time.

    RIP to the lovely Pat Quinn

    I can't say enough about how welcoming the Quinns have always been to me, a Glasgow lass sometimes out of her depth living in Camden. From keeping spare keys for me when I expected guests to the regular jump starts for my old Escort, the Quinns are my London family and I will miss Pat's lovely laugh and strong handshake. You have left a great legacy in your pub. My thoughts are with Margaret and the boys. All my love to you. Joyce

    R.I.P Mr Quinn.

    R.I.P Mr Quinn. Always loved your pub and loved your style

    Rip Mr Quinn

    Always a gentleman, thoughts are with Mrs Quinn and the family.

    RIP Mr Quinn.

    A genuinely decent man and a lovely family.
    Will be sadly missed by all.

    Quinn's The Kegend

    Thanks Pat, Margaret and the family. Loved going there, fantastic in so many ways.
    God bless.

    Wonderful gentlemen. RIP Mr Quinn

    Service was always with a smile, such a lovely place to spend an evening.

    Rip Pat

    Love and sympathy to the family, especially Vincent who ran the pub beside his mum and dad xx

    Pat quinn"s passing

    Very sad to hear of the passing of Mr Quinn last week,
    I have such great memories of the times I've spent in Quinns,
    One memorable time, was when I popped in intending just to have a quick drink,
    Pat was serving that night, On getting my drink and giving pat payment, When He returned with my change he asked " was it a £5 or £10 you gave me ? "
    I Said, Honestly Pat I don't recall, on that pat gave Me change from £10 pounds,
    On finishing my drink I decided To have just one more,
    Taking out my wallet I released I had £5 more no me than I'd come in with.. with that I called pat over and explained my mistake,
    On giving me my second drink pat refused any payment , "for my honesty He said ".
    Well I thought I can't just drink a free beer and go ? I'll have" one for the road as they say," but pat still refused any payment, well this
    went on for many many drinks, eventually I just had to go home as I'd only popped in for A QUICK drink.... A good time , spent with a good man.
    My thoughts are with Margaret, & family at this very sad time.

    A true gentleman

    R.I.P Mr Quinn. It was pleasure to have known you.

    RIP

    Pat always made strangers like myself welcome and was always ready to talk to his customers. I used to go in there with other fans of Hibernian FC to watch games. It was always a pleasure to be there - his pub was rather different from many pubs in the area, always intimate, friendly and warm. All the very best to his family and close friends.
    Lou Phemister

    RIP Mr Quinn. Sad news to

    RIP Mr Quinn. Sad news to hear of the passing of a true gentleman. Quinns was my local when I worked in Camden and would often go there 3 times a week and was always served with a smile.

    And absolute gent. RIP.

    And absolute gent. RIP.

    RIP Pat

    Thanks for the hospitality Pat, RIP x

    RIP

    A lovely, lovely man, with time for everyone

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