AN owner of one of the most prestigious hotels in the Lake District has died, at the age of 81.

Neville Talbot, one of the managers and directors of the popular Lakeside Hotel and Spa near Newby Bridge, passed away in Germany on September 8 following a long battle with cancer.

He had dedicated his life to working in the hospitality industry for around 60 years. A hotelier “through and through,” Mr Talbot was responsible for restoring the luxury hotel to the high standard it is today.

Having moved to the Lake District in the early ‘60s from South Manchester, Mr Talbot had seen it as his vocation to turn the 75-bedroom establishment into a place of affluence.

However, due to a number of pipes bursting within the building, the hotel was struck with a devastating flood in the 1980s which led to its temporary closure.

But with help from Birketts Bakery, now known as Greggs, and Mr Talbot’s brother Richard, who sadly died a few years later, Mr Talbot managed to purchase the hotel in 1983.

He completely “revamped” the place and placed his heart and soul into every detail of the work that went into developing the hotel and spa.

Even though Mr Talbot made the Lakes his home, he also had a love for travelling and staying in hotels across the globe.

From a hospitality point of view, he was keen to see what was changing in the world and how different cultures embraced life in a hotel.

Quite a unique character, Mr Talbot was married to the Lakeside hotel and was renowned for making an effort with all those who came to stay, even when he was very ill.

“The hotel was his family,” said Clive Wilson, one of the directors of the hotel.

“It was his dream to create a perfect hotel in the Lakes. Neville was a traditional classical hotelier and that’s how he will be remembered by all of us.”

Leaving his legacy behind for others to continue his work, Mr Talbot has certainly restored life into the luxurious hotel, which now consists of 120 staff, from the local area.