A "legendary" pub landlord from Plymouth has died after nearly 40 years serving punters at the Dolphin pub in Plymouth.

Billy Holmes' pub was made famous for being the local where painter Beryl Cook set many of her pictures of larger than life figures enjoying a night out.




Beryl would sit in the corner and sketch local drinkers – and the landlord himself, as Billy featured in several of her paintings.

In 2004 a BBC animated film based on Beryl's pictures included Billy as a character, and he was voiced by award winning Hollywood actor, Timothy Spall.




The pub is full of Beryl Cook paintings, and after her death in 2008, her husband John continued to frequent the pub. In fact, Billy claims he even consulted him on a refurbishment of the venue.

Billy told the Plymouth Herald that he ran a pub which was the essence of a traditional local, and he won the local paper's 'pub of the year' award in 2015.




"We don't do much music, and we don't do the sports bar thing because that's not us. People come in here because they want a drink and a chat." He said.

Billy even let people come in with fish and chips from the town centre and have a drink.

Speaking to the Herald about what makes a good pub landlord, he said: "You have got to be a good listener.

"You have to be very sympathetic at times and, like a doctor or a psychiatrist, you have to keep it to yourself."