A FAMILY has paid tribute after the death of a builder who created an empire of well-known pubs across the district.

Chris Delaney, 78, started off with the hugely successful Fiddlers Three, before opening The Pile Bar on Lilycroft Road, Jenny Dee's in Halifax and Dick Delaney's on Manchester Road, among others.

He also ploughed in hundreds of thousands of pounds to re-open The Raggalds in Queensbury in the late 1990s.

Mr Delaney died last week following a battle with liver cancer.

He started working for his father's firm J Delaney and Sons as a teenager, but later decided to go it alone.

His demolition and excavation firm, C.B. Delaney, was involved in a number of high-profile jobs, including pulling down Bradford's power station and clearance for the redevelopment of the Thorp Arch trading estate.

The purple wagons the firm used were often seen on Bradford's roads and his background stood him in good stead for what would come next.

His first major taste of building was in 1974, when he built a bungalow for himself and his family, which stands just across from the Fiddlers Three, which is now a Kinder Haven nursery. 

Around 2,000 wagon loads of materials had to be moved to convert a railway cutting into the development site for the pub.

Mr Delaney also used stone and slate from demolition contracts in the build - even the walls behind the upholstered seating originally came from the power station.

The pub became very popular, with cars parked along the main road and on people's drives, leading him to extend the car park and add a new suite to the venue.

Family was at the heart of the business and when The Raggalds reopened, his daughter Tina's wedding was the first function there.

Paying tribute to her dad, Tina, 56, said: "I know everyone says their dad is one of a kind - he really was.

"He would do anything for you. He would give you the moon if he could."

Building was Mr Delaney's life, with his motto for success being: "With determination, hard work, being persistent and not taking no for an answer, you can do anything."

Mr Delaney married his wife Jenny, now 76, back in 1961 and they went on to have three children - Tina; Shaun, 55, and Cathy, 54. His family includes 12 grandchildren, plus some step-grandchildren, as well as 21 great grandchildren. He was diagnosed with cancer around four to five years ago, but his family said the last couple of months had taken their toll.

Mr Delaney passed away on October 16, surrounded by his loved ones. His funeral will be held on Tuesday, October 29, at 10.50am at Scholemoor Crematorium.

 A plate for donations to Cancer Research UK will be available.