Landlady Ebba loses fight with cancer

John and Ebba Shoesmith
John and Ebba Shoesmith

TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular landlady who lost her battle with cancer last month.

Ebba Shoesmith died on Tuesday, aged 52. She passed away just days before her daughter Kerry was due to get married.

Ebba, who lived with her husband John in Battle Road, Hailsham, was the former landlady of the Rose and Crown in Langney Road and more recently the Dinkum in Polegate High Street.

She had been battling with cancer for seven years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and had a mastectomy. Ebba later developed bone cancer which then spread to her liver. Only her close knit family knew she was terminally ill and she died at home surrounded by her family.

German-born Ebba moved to Eastbourne as a teenager and in 1985 met John, who was running the Hartington in Cavendish Place.

The couple then took over the Rose and Crown for seven years and later ran the Dinkum Pub. John also worked as a taxi driver.

Because of her illness, the couple retired from pub life although recently Ebba had been helping her sister Heidi Lane, who runs the Crown and Anchor on Eastbourne seafront.

Ebba’s daughter Kerry, who was due get married the Friday after Ebba passed away but has now postponed her wedding until August, said her mother had been tremendously brave.

“We always knew she was living on borrowed time,” said Kerry. “Even though she knew she was terminally ill, she had chemotherapy so it would give her enough time to be there for me at my wedding.”

Kerry said Ebba was a popular landlady and people gravitated towards her.

She said, “Her big love though was her family. She loved her family, her husband and her home life.”

Ebba’s family have paid tribute to the nursing staff who looked after Ebba over the seven years including the district nursing team, staff at the DGH, Pevensey Ward, Macmillan nurses and St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Ebba’s funeral is at Eastbourne Crematorium on Wednesday, June 18, at 2.30pm and afterwards at the Crown and Anchor.