FLOWERS have been left outside an award-winning bar and restaurant following the death of its owner.

Online tributes have also been paid to Peter Turnbull, who ran the Old Yard Tapas Bar, in Darlington, for almost 20 years.

Mr Turnbull's body was found inside the premises, in Bondgate, on Wednesday (July 23) morning, when staff arrived to open for business.

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There are no suspicious circumstances. The restaurant has remained closed since Wednesday.

By Thursday lunchtime, sympathy cards and bouquets of flowers had been left outside the popular venue.

One remembered Mr Turnbull as an 'all-round lovely bloke' and said Darlington would be poorer without him.

Shoppers and passers-by paused to read the messages of condolence and share their memories of Mr Turnbull and the Tapas Bar.

Tributes to Mr Turnbull and messages of condolence and support for his family, including his wife Katrina, have been left on Facebook.

On the popular Darlington As It Looked page, a link to The Northern Echo's story about Mr Turnbull's death has received dozens of comments.

Michael Wallis, who posted the link to The Northern Echo's story to Darlington As It Looked, wrote: "Sad news. This guy ran the best restaurant in town and was a good guy."

Other Facebook users followed suit with their own messages of support:

Natasha Bree wrote: "It is very sad. He was a lovely man."

Former Tapas Bar staff member Donna Hodgson added: "I am so shocked. Peter was so articulate and a hard-working owner. [He] made such a success of Tapas Bar. Prayers and hugs to Katrina and family."

Rob Duncan said: "I knew Peter for many years, top guy, will be greatly missed. RIP."

Mandi Bishop wrote: "Awful news. Such a well known and loved character in Darlington."

Chris Willsden added: "Totally shocked , knew Pete through business, football and life.

"Always a great guy, he will be sadly missed. RIP, Turny."

Rachel Mackin wrote: "I had the pleasure of meeting Peter, he was a great business and family man. So sorry to hear about his passing."

Suzanne Illingworth added: "So sad respect and God bless Pete and his family."