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Costa del Sol mourns death of 60s wild child, Shelagh Tennant

Shelagh earlier this year.
Shelagh earlier this year. / SUR
  • The 75-year-old former model and owner of the renowned Shelagh's Bar in Torremolinos died last Friday after a short battle with cancer

The recent death of Shelagh Tennant, the 60s wild child noted for being the person who helped bring The Beatles to Spain, has shocked the expat community of the Costa del Sol.

The 75-year-old former model and owner of Shelagh's Bar, one of the first English pubs in Torremolinos, died last Friday after a short battle with cancer. Shelagh's Bar was one of the liveliest venues in Torremolinos during the 1960s and attracted both local expat residents and a string of visiting celebrities.

Shelagh arrived in Torremolinos in the early 1960s with her mother, Marion Wrottesley, a socialite that married the heir of a barony and hobnobbed with everyone from The Rolling Stones to Somerset Maugham and the Kray Twins.

At the age of 20, Shelagh defied family opposition by marrying David Tennant, brother of Lord Glenconner. Some years later, she married restaurateur, Ajit Kuner.

The life of Shelagh, described by one tabloid as 'indecently charming', was celebrated at a special tribute party in Torremolinos in June. Around 100 friends and family and several representatives of the business and cultural fabric of Malaga, gathered to reminisce about a period that most remembered as 'the golden years of Torremolinos'.

The event was organised by Torremolinos Chic, an online platform dedicated to preserving the history of Torremolinos.

In a post on its Facebook page, Torremolinos Chic referred to Shelagh as the "protagonist of the best years of Torremolinos".

José Luis Cabrera, coordinator of Torremolinos Chic, told SUR in English, "Friendship is not just measured by time. I knew Shelagh for little more than two years, yet in that time she showed me how to deal with life. It was two years of fun. It was a privilege to share this time with her, and especially to attend her last party in June. She will never be forgotten."

Lyn Volgarino, who had known Shelagh for more than 40 years, said, "This is very sad news. Shelagh was an important character in the history of Torremolinos. Her bar was one of the main places at that time. It really was the place to be."

Her funeral was held in the International Cemetery in Benalmádena on Saturday.