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3 Mar 2016

We were saddened to hear the news about the death of a well-loved member of the Garden Quarter community recently.
Armando Malanga was a familiar face on Garden Lane, known to any alumni and current student alike. He was landlord of some of the properties in the Garden Lane area, and the owner of the Italian delicatessen opposite the Bouverie Pub.
He sadly passed away on February 5, aged 87.
Former student, Sharon Forsdyke (1983-86) has written a lovely tribute to the man, who she remembers so fondly from her College days:

9 November 2012...
‘Early start. Got to Euston when I predicted. Walked down Garden Lane. Popped into Continental and had a chat with Mr Malanga. Toured the Uni with Fiona, lunch in the cathedral, then round the walls.’
When planning that day trip from Essex back to Chester, I had allowed for only three things; meeting up with Mr Malanga was an unexpected bonus.
I had taken a familiar student route along Canal Street to Garden Lane where all roads meet at the Bouverie Arms. The pub hadn’t been my local in the 80s but I’d spent many hours sharing coffee with friends in the flat above.
I was very surprised to find a silvery haired Mr Malanga behind the counter of his shop and he was as jovial as ever. I felt I had gone back 30 years as we reminisced over my time as one of his tenants before I walked Bouverie Street to meet Fiona at the University.
Following my move to Cheshire in 2014 I popped into see Mr Malanga on several occasions. But my sojourn back from town on Saturday 13th February 2016 was a sad one when I discovered he had died. This is my tribute to a man who was an institution and very much loved in The Garden Quarter.
It was after a jaunt into Chester, my route took me down Garden Lane,
I wish I'd come sooner for at 'Bouverie Corner' I knew that something had changed.
Two people had paused at a window, and although the blind was pulled down,
I wasn't prepared for what I'd see there - it tainted my trip into town.
The folk in the Quarter, all of them knew - I was sad that I had not heard
You'd passed away, so sudden, one day - so I've penned you a few little words.
I remember the greetings you gave, to all who passed by your shop,
I'll also remember, a day in November, when into your doorway I popped.
It had been a while, but your welcome and smile, melted the decades away,
Though your hair was now tinged with a silvery glint, reminisces brightened my day.
Your family life you spoke of with pride and shared you'd been wed sixty years.
I recalled student days and felt quite amazed how life and events had both steered

Me back to the North and to Chester - and in typical, sociable way
You wished me well with a sweet and a smile and I promised to call in again.
For you were a gem of a landlord and looked after tenants with care -
At times I was freezing, but despite lack of heating, I was at my most studious there

In Chichester Street with four other girls - we managed to get along fine.
The studying pressures didn't spoil Chester and we all had a really good time.
So this is farewell to a Garden Lane man whose smile in our hearts will remain -
Our Mr Malanga, to whom none was a stranger - that 'Corner' just won't be the same.
 Sharon L Forsdyke
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