Former landlord at three Leighton Buzzard pubs has died

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There was sadness after one of Leighton Buzzard’s most prominent businessmen died two weeks ago.

David Maslen was the landlord of the Black Horse pub in its heyday, as well as The Crown and The Railway.

Mr Maslen died on August 30 at the age of 66 following a short battle with lung cancer.

Son Martin said: “He was a workaholic, the pubs were his life.

“He could be opinionated but there were a lot of unspoken things he did to help people over the years.”

Born in Cardiff in 1951 Mr Maslen’s family moved often while his father worked in the navy.

After spending a number of years in Malta, the family returned to Cardiff where Mr Maslen finished his schooling.

After studying hotel management, he began working in hospitality while still a teenager and later switched to pubs.

His career took a turn one day when he spotted an opportunity while driving through Leighton Buzzard.

Martin said: “He was driving and saw that the Black Horse had closed down and was up for auction.”

Although Mr Maslen put in an offer, he was very soon outbid. Six months later, he received a call that the other bidder had dropped out and he quickly made his move into the town.

Martin added: “That was in 1979 and built up the Black Horse from scratch. In the 1980s if was the place to be, by 8.30pm it was full.

“He also started a Northern Soul night on Tuesdays that was very popular.”

Mr Maslen bought the Railway pub in the early 1990s. However, during its renovation, a fire broke out and the pub stood derelict until it was converted it into flats several years ago.

At the time of his death, Mr Maslen was owner of The Crown on North Street and had plans to turn these into flats.

He is survived by his two sons Martin and Nicholas and four grandchildren.