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Ron Richardson Remembered

Landlord of The Olde Black Horse 1946 - 1978


Born of parents Robert and Ada Richardson on 20th January 1913 in the village of Sutton-upon-Derwent, just a few miles from York, Ron was the son of a publican. Out of necessity, during the depression of the 1920s, Ron left home at the age of 13 to try and make something of himself.

Ron grew up with hard work and discipline and so was able to turn his hand to most things, which he did in order to earn a living.  While searching through the Baptismal register in the parish church where all the Richardson children had been baptised, Ron's father's living had been registered as not only publican, but amongst others that of blacksmith and horsebreaker.The 1930s saw him enter the tough world of professional boxing, where he allegedly fought 16 fights, of which he won 15. The Boxing world of the 30s was a very different world to the cut-throat money-making business it has become today.

The 30s saw in abundance a redoubtable spirit among the people whom were labelled "the working classes". They were hard times and they produced hard people. Boxing was the big sport of the time and there were hundreds of professional fighters.

To most of them it was a chance to escape from the prevailing poverty. For ten rounds, a man could earn himself 50 shillings - and fifty bob was the average worker's weekly wage at that time.

Dad's boxing background later proved useful for his children in school, who when threatened by some kid with "anyway, my Dad will get your Dad" - we were always able to answer" yes, but our Dad's a 'Professional boxer'!! That soon scared them!

Ron's fighting spirit certainly prepared him well for many tough times to come, but most especially at the end when he tried to fight the effects of his stroke. Anyone who knew him well knew that he would never have settled for anything less than a full recovery and so when he finally passed away peacefully, having retained both his fighting spirit and his dignity, we could give grateful thanks.

In the early 40s when, by chance, he called in at the "Jolly Colliers" in Awsworth and saw Joyce Madeline Renshaw working behind the bar, he told her mother "I'm going to marry your daughter"! And he did! Though perhaps not straight away, I think they may have waited a week or two! With the onset of World War II, Ron worked in Plymouth dockyard and endured some of the terrible hardships and grim realities of war. Joyce followed him down to Plymouth, but was forced to return some time later when the bombing became too heavy. While many of his comrades were killed during the heavy air raids, Ron survived. Janet was the first child to be born of the marriage in 1944 in a nursing home in York. Elaine followed in 1948, then Bob in 1952 and finally   Joyce junior in 1954.

Ron, Joyce and Janet moved into the 'Old Black Horse' after the end of the war and there Ron stayed for 32 years. We all still think of the place as Ron's pub and it will always be known as that to his family and friends.

During his working life, Ron worked harder than any man I know. Not only did he run the pub, but he also worked at Cossall Colliery as a welder for a number of years and later at Mapperley Pit Yard.

One of the greatest gifts he passed on to his children was his sense of humour. Ron could almost always see the funny side of any serious situation and most especially, he could always, if necessary, have a good laugh at himself.

Mapperley became Ron's home and it was certainly the place he loved best. He only ever went away for a short break once and that was a flying visit to Germany in the late 1950s with a friend - and even then he insisted on filling up his suitcase with pork pies, so that he wouldn't have to eat German food. To him any foreign food was labelled 'Goulash'

Sadly, 1970 left him a widower when Joyce died, but he fought on and gradually adapted to life on his own. Retirement for him came in 1978 on what was a sad, yet memorable day for us all. I remember the pub was full to overflowing with friends old and new. They formed a line to present him with gifts and bid him farewell. Ron wasn't just the landlord of the pub. He was a most special character. To many he was friend and confidante. People pay vast sums of money nowadays for modern-day counselling, but for many back in those days, it was the price of a pint and a chat with Ron, whom they knew would keep a confidence.

He was big and he was strong. He was friendly, humorous and extremely open and honest. He called a spade a spade and no-one could say they never knew where they stood with Ron. Retirement mellowed him slightly, but even up to the time of his illness, always kept himself physically and mentally fit.

Ron died on 27 July 1994. He left behind 4 children, 9 grand children and 3 great grand children.

Ron's eldest daughter Janet passed away on 4th January 2014 at the age of 69 yrs, leaving 4 children and 6 grandchildren

Rest in Peace Janet

Janet Mary Trueman was born on 17 March 1944 and was the first born to Ronald and Joyce Richardson. Prior to her birth and with the onset on World War II, her father Ronald worked in Plymouth dockyard. However, with the hardships of War and the intensity of the bombing in Plymouth, Janet’s mother Joyce was forced to leave. It was also close to this time that Janet was born in a maternity home in York.

Janet moved into the ‘Old Black Horse’ with her parents in 1947, aged 3 years, this was later followed by Elaine, Bob and Joyce. Life in the pub had its hardships and Janet and the rest of the children each had their jobs to do, as not only was her father a Publican he was also a Welder for Cossall Colliery and later Mapperley Pit.

Janet was educated at Mapperley Primary School and went onto Scargill Secondary School in West Hallam. She left school at 15 years and went onto college to learn shorthand and typing. After qualifying, Janet found a job as a shorthand typist and started her first paid job. This was to be short lived.

In December 1960, after returning home on a bus with close friends Kathleen Peacock and Shirley Wood, tragedy was to strike.  Janet and her friends walked behind the bus and proceeded to walk across the road, where Janet was subsequently hit by a passing car. She was unconscious for six weeks and underwent brain surgery by a leading surgeon of the time, Mr Sheppard.

It is worthy a mention, and testament to the support and help of the villages in Mapperley at this time, how Ronald and Joyce could possibly have coped with Janet severely ill in hospital and the demands of their young family and running a busy pub.

When Janet came out of the hospital she had lost a lot of her memory. Her mother Joyce brought her a ‘petite’ typewriter and gradually Janet began to remember how to type again.

Janet was also supported at this time by her then boyfriend Ian Trueman, whom she went onto marry in (date) 1961. Janet began her married life living with her parents-in-law, Samuel and Gladys Trueman in High Lane West, this followed the arrival of their first born son Gary in 1961 and Greg in 1962.

With the subsequent closure of Mapperley Pit, Janet and Ian and their young family moved to the coalfields of Southern Nottinghamshire to what was then a new mining community called Cotgrave where their third son Kip was born in 1964. The family then moved to Beeston where their daughter Dawn was born in 1966. From there the family moved back to Mapperley Village and finally High Lane East where she remained to this day.

How can I describe Janet? Janet was respected and well loved by everyone. Always on hand for all those extra babysitting jobs for her busy children’s social lives. Janet held her children very dear to her heart and often the children’s friends became firm fixtures in the Trueman household as well.

One amusing story involves her son Greg’s meeting with Trevor Durow; where they had arranged to meet at Greg’s home early in the morning the next day. Unbeknown to Trevor, Greg had an offer of a job to start the next day; a fact he had not told Trevor. The next morning, Trevor proceeded to knock on the door of Janet’s home to which there was no answer. Trevor had the bright idea of climbing onto the roof and knock on Greg’s bedroom window and gaining attention that way. To Trevor’s surprise (or horror), Janet opened the bedroom window, which prompted Trevor to exclaim, “Morning Janet, is Greg in”? Janet was completely unfazed by this occurrence and a general discussion followed. I think this only goes to show how easy going and accepting Janet was.

It is interesting to note, that Phil Everly of the Everly brothers passed away on the same day Janet passed. Many of you will know that Janet was an avid fan of the group for many years and particularly enjoyed the song “All I have to do is dream” it is therefore quite poignant that this song was chosen today.

Janet was a loyal wife to Ian and a devoted mother to Gary, Greg, Kip and Dawn, as well as her Grandchildren Nick, Tom, Sarah, Richard, Alexander and Charlotte; and daughters-in-law Celia and Jayne.

Janet will be sadly missed by her family and friends alike. We can take heart that now Janet is reunited with her beloved husband Ian. Rest in peace Janet because ‘all you have to do is dream’

My Memories by Elaine Sarson

I was born at The Black Horse, a lot of years ago!  My parents, Ron and Joyce Richardson were landlord and landlady for a record 32 years. There were four children; Janet the eldest followed by me, then my brother Bob and then younger sister Vanessa.  We all still live locally today and I have never left the village... well I mean I haven’t lived anywhere else.

I remember so well having to go round the village selling raffle tickets for the pensioners ‘do’ or to take all the village children for a day or night out. My mum loved organising outings and she had a lot of support from other village mums.

I knew everyone by name and could list everyone who lived in the village.

Community spirit was in abundance and you always knew someone would be there for you if you needed help. I also knew as a child that I would not get away with anything without someone telling my parents!

I always seemed to be in trouble but really have no idea why!

People are still there today to help each other, a real blessing.

We had a choice of shops when I was young, today unfortunately we don’t have any. Changing times and large supermarkets I guess.

In my class at school there was only myself and one other, a boy.  Consequently we were always playing the same roles in the nativity play, me as Mary and he as Joseph.  Well, at least we didn’t need to rehearse for long!

There was always something happening in the village, a Country Fayre, Garden Party, Street Party, Charity football matches and tug-o-wars, Morris dancers and games nights.  We have a social group in the village today and try to organise quite a few events each year to cover all gender and ages.

Our pub was always full to overflowing every New Years Eve. Mum would put on free food which always went down a treat.  If you didn’t get yourself seated by 7pm then you would remain standing all night, and into the morning.

At midnight all the customers would conga round the village. I think the alcohol helped to ease the pain of the cold!

Over Christmas someone would always decide at closing time, or chucking out time as we called it, that they would have a party. There would be a collection from everyone attending and this would be used to buy crates of beer. Dad would bring them from the shed and the men would take them along to the party.

I don’t think many of us actually remember much about Christmas over those years!

We had some wonderful days out, Houses of Parliament, Pantomime every year, day trip to Skeggy, the world was our oyster really!

Mapperley is a wonderful village, still full of families who have been here for years. I would not want to live anywhere else.

Elaine Sarson. 2011


Mum and Dad's Wedding

Bob Richardson

Ron and Joyce Richardson, with 3 of their 4 children, Janet, Elaine and Robert

My parents Ron and Joyce Richardson moved into the Black Horse in 1947, my father told me it was in January, during the bad winter, which made the first few weeks a nightmare. Dad always said that pub rent was cheaper than council house rent - a good reason for taking on the pub and as he always enjoyed pub life it was an ideal situation, he preferred to make money behind the bar rather than spend money in front of it. They had a choice of two pubs - Old Black Horse and the Derwent Hotel at Whatstandwell. At the time the family had, Jolly Colliers, Fox and Hounds and Gate inn, All Kimberley pubs in the family. Mam was born into the pub trade (well, moved into it as a very young child and dad was born into it). Early memories for me were listening to pub singing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and because of that, surprisingly, I now have a fair knowledge of the words of older songs. Most of the clientele were miners in the early days, although all of that started to change in the 60's as the mines closed.

As a child, sometimes I had trouble getting off to sleep, so I would lay in bed and name every villager, house by house. Mum ran the pub during the day, whilst Dad did his day job in the Black Smiths workshop at Cossal Colliery. They rarely took a day off. Very few people had cars in those days, instead they relied on the bus and we had a regular daily service to/from Ilkeston, several times a day to be exact. We also used the railways, catching the train at West Hallam.

Photo Maya
Bob and Grandaughter Maya

In the 1950's and early 1960's each yearly intake at Mapperley school was about 4 pupils. We had two teachers, one infant and one junior (who also doubled as the head) Both teachers taught multi age groups and as the years rolled forward we moved around one desk.

Sadly mum died suddenly in 1970. Dad lived on into the mid 1990s although he retired from pub life in 1979 to a cottage in the village. I was born in Mapperley, met my wife in Mapperley, both christened and married in Mapperley church.

I did not realise it at the time, but now looking back at life's lottery, we won the first prize and had an idyllic village upbringing!

R I P Bob Richardson
Rest in Peace June 2023





Dad was born in the Cross Keys Pub in Sutton on Derwent Yorkshire, son to Robert and Ada Richardson. He lived at the pub up until he left home in his early teens to find work.

He was a professional boxer (his fights were followed live on radio). A Crane driver and NCB Blacksmith as well as Publican of the Black Horse, Mapperley, Derbyshire for 31 years. He was a pretty good violinist, taught by his local vicar (Rev Pym) and he played in York Minster on occasion.

During World War 2, he worked for the ministry of public works and worked at RAF Watnall, Operational Headquarters of No. 12 Group, Fighter Command. That is where he met my mother who lived close by; they were married during the war in 1943 and moved to Plymouth soon after to help with the war effort, they got caught up in some massive air raids, which they were lucky to survive.

Ron's Wedding

Go-To top Joyce BA

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