Farewell Burger Bill, the Lancaster icon who served city for over 35 years after starting on a three-wheeled trike

Bill's Burgers have served the centre of Lancaster for three decades
Bill's Burgers have served the centre of Lancaster for three decades -Credit:LancsLive

For more than three decades, he was a stalwart of the high street. Flipping burgers and selling them to the hungry of Lancaster city centre. Onions were optional.

But this month, heartbroken tributes have been paid to Bill Flynn, affectionately known as Burger Bill. He passed on May 1, just a few months after losing his beloved wife Michele in August.

The 65-year-old had been had been flipping burgers from his van on Cheapside for over 35 years - since starting out with a three-wheeled trike.

His son, Stephen Flynn told LancsLive food had run in the family's blood.


"My mum was an outside caterer, who had a snack van on the A6," Stephen told LancsLive. "They were both into it and decided he was going to put a mini version into the middle of Lancaster, and started off with a three-wheeled trike."

Bill was born in Ireland but moved to Lancashire for work, originally living in Blackpool where he met Michele. Working on the arcades in the seaside town. His father had a butchers in Lancaster and the legacy started there.

Bill's Burgers supporting council workers
Bill's Burgers supporting council workers -Credit:Lancaster City Council

Building Bill's Burgers from its humble beginnings of the trike, over the years it eventually grew into an institution of Lancaster. Stephen added: "It was a good price as well and he didn't do it to make loads of money, he did it because he loved going to work."

The family say Bill and his wife Michele had been together for over 40 years and worked together as a close unit too. When Michele passed away in 2023, the family say the past year was "really tough" and in the end, "died from a broken heart."

In 2022, LancsLive visited and noted the long queues waiting outside Bill's Burgers every day whether rain or shine.

Security guards at the Warren James Jewellers, near Bill's old spot on Cheapside, described him as simply a "lovely guy" who was "well-loved by everyone".

Bill had become particularly known for his charity work and work with the homeless in Lancaster. In April 2020, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Bill's Burgers offered their services on Lancaster City Council's White Lund Depot to put fuel into the tanks of the waste and recycling crews who had been keeping the city's "vital collection services rolling".

All proceeds went to the emergency food delivery operation, in conjunction with Morecambe Bay Foodbank to deliver food parcels to Lancaster's most vulnerable residents.

Known as quite the "legend" in the area, tributes have since poured in following the news of Bill's death. On X, formerly known as Twitter, one user said Bill is the "icon of Lancaster that'll never be forgotten".

Sharing a smiley image of Bill in his burger van, the post reads: "An icon of Lancaster that'll never be forgotten! R.I.P Bill (Bills Burger) our City won't be the same without you A family friend of My Father's I had my first burger of yours at around 4 year's old, and kept coming back because they were just simply that good."

Bill Flynn beneath the huge menu at Bill's Burgers
Bill Flynn beneath the huge menu at Bill's Burgers -Credit:LancsLive

Comments on the post are filled with former customers who remember a bite to eat at Bill's Burgers all too well. Barry300668 wrote: "RIP. Sorry to hear. Great burgers. Couldn’t walk past the smell, had many a burger there over the years growing up."

Mrs S Lewis said: "So sorry yo hear this. Best burgers ever! A Lancaster legend!"

On Facebook, there are no shortage of tributes either. Will Siehl shared their memories, stating: "We couldn’t believe that he passed. We spoke to him on the 26 of April. Our tradition was that as soon as we were on our campsite Gatelands we go for the best hamburger we know. Our thoughts are with Sean and family."

Richard Scott also stated Bill was a "lovely person," writing: "Burger Bill was a lovely person he always had time to speak to myself and when I had my guide dog he always used to give a bit of bacon to her R.I.P Bill."

Louise King added: "Him and his son brightened many of my trip to Lancaster Town. Rest in peace Bill thinking of his family."

On Friday, May 24 at around 9.30am, a funeral cortege for Bill Flynn will be driving through Lancaster. The route will see a stop at Cheapside, the home of his famous burger van and will then drive up Church Street.