‘He always had a smile on his face’

Castle Hotel

Castle Hotel

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Tributes have been paid to a popular restaurateur who died at a Bamburgh pub, with a friend and colleague describing him as someone who always had a smile on his face and would brighten your day.

Alex Watson, 30, ran the Mizen Head Hotel, and the nearby Castle Inn, with his father Ronnie.

Police were called to the Castle Inn, known locally as The Middle, on Front Street, in the early hours of Sunday, and Alex was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police confirmed that inquiries are ongoing and are treating the incident as ‘a sudden death’.

Today, Andrew Bird, head barman at the Castle Inn, paid his respects to much-loved Alex.

He said: “He will be a big miss. He oversaw both of the pubs with his dad, Ronnie.

“He always had a smile on his face and he would brighten up your day.

“It didn’t matter what day it was or what the weather was like, he was just always smiling.”

Both pubs were closed in the days following Mr Watson’s death, but they reopened today.

Mr Bird said staff were coming to terms with the news and the community had been offering its support. He told the Gazette: “We have had a lot of help from people. The staff have been dealing with it in their own way.”

A statement from Northumbria Police said: ‘Emergency services were called to the Castle Inn, on Front Street, in Bamburgh, at 1.36am, the early hours of Sunday, November 27, after a man was unwell.

‘But sadly the man, aged 30, was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘At this stage, the matter is being treated as a sudden death and inquiries are ongoing.’

Tribute messages have also been left on Facebook.