TRIBUTES have been paid to a talented florist and popular pub landlady who has died after getting coronavirus.

Ann Taylor and her husband Brent ran the White Lion Hotel in Rawtenstall for 14 years but she died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on October 31 after complications and contracting COVID.

Brent, who had celebrated his 37th wedding anniversary in September, said: “She was so special and my heart is broken.

“She had her own florist firm in Rawtenstall precinct and then we closed that down and got a pub.

“She was so full of life and had just got her first pension and was looking forward to spending more time with her grandkids and go for girls days out.

“She didn’t deserve to die the way she did.

“We were notified that a member of staff tested positive so we got tested and were positive so we were self-isolating.

“Both of us were rough sleeping during the day and she had asthma and was struggling to breathe phoned the ambulance and she told me she was dying and she was taken to hospital and that was the last time I saw her.

“It was so hard as she would have helped anybody but we were not able to help her when she needed us as we could not visit her.”

The 62-year-old added that the heaven had gained another ‘angel and talented artist’ after her death and admitted she would never be ‘replaced’.

He warned people to follow guidance after seeing the dangers of coronavirus first hand.

He said: “I would urge everyone to look after themselves as this is devastating when it happened to you.

“It shows how dangerous it is and I would tell people to try to get through this silent killer.

“Stay safe, look after your family and would not want this to happen to anyone else.”

Ann’s funeral will be held at St James the Less Church in Rawtenstall on November 20 at 1pm followed by a burial service in Rawtenstall cemetery immediately afterwards.

Only invite 30 close friends and family will be able to attend the church service but numbers are not limited in the cemetery as long as you all social distance.

People can pay tributes on the roadside as the cortege will be driving from Fred Hamers in Rawtenstall to St James the Less at around 12.45 via Bank Street.

Brent has been amazed by the support of the community.

He said: “We have been getting lots from the messages from people. It shows how much she touched people’s hearts.”