‘She was a legend’ - Tributes to landlady of historic Exeter pub

Joan Ballman ran The Locomotive pub in Exeter for more than 30 years. Credit: BPM Media

Tributes have been paid to one of Exeter’s best known publicans after she died following a short battle with cancer.

Joan Ballman ran The Locomotive Inn - an historic pub in New North Road - for more than 30 years.

She continued to pull pints from behind the bar until this year when, aged 82, she retired after being diagnosed.

She died on Saturday, November 27.

Joan was described by her family and customers as a "legend". Credit: BPM Media

Her daughter Jackie Wills, who has taken over the running of the pub on a temporary basis, described her as a “legend”.

"She was a one-off,” she said. “She was very kind and very considerate and would give anything to anyone."

Pub regular Keith Baker added: "She was old school, the likes of which you won't see again. 

“If you were naughty she would tell you once and that was it. If you were wise, you would only need telling once.”

Joan was born in Lympstone but did not enter the pub trade until her late 30s.

Joan's funeral will take place on Monday, December 13. Credit: BPM Media

She started off at The Bystock in Queen’s Terrace before moving to The Mitre in Mary Arches Street, where she was landlady for six years.

Her final move was to The Locomotive, where she became Heavitree Brewery’s longest-serving landlady.

Joan’s funeral is being held on Monday, December 13 at 12.30pm at Exeter and Devon Crematorium.

The funeral cortege will depart from The Locomotive where the wake is being held afterwards.