Dedicated butcher Eric was a ‘real character’ of his industry

Eric Richmond (left)
Eric Richmond (left)

A successful butcher who was well-respected by others in his trade died, aged 92.

Eric Richmond had seven butchers shops across the district and a factory in Ossett when he retired in 1993.

He followed in his father Harry’s footsteps, opening a butchers business in Upton after the Second World War.

And he soon opened shops in Pontefract and Ossett marketplace.

Mr Richmond’s son Robin can recall how he would have cattle shipped over from Ireland and lead them through the streets of Ossett.

He added: “They’d come back on the train from Holyhead every couple of weeks, and we’d take them up Dale Street and Kingsway.

“Everybody used to shoot into the Co-op when they saw the cattle coming.”

Mr Richmond was born in Soothill and went to school in Ossett. He joined the Royal Air Force during the war and was selected to be a Lancaster Bomber pilot.

When he moved into Ossett, he bought 99 Dale Street and turned it into an abattoir.

It has now become a factory for the business.

Mr Richmond became well-known in York, where he attended markets every Monday, and was also asked to judge at the Royal Smithfield Club’s livestock show.

Robin, who took on the factory side of the business after his father retired, added: “He was dedicated and very well-respected in the butchering fraternity. He was also a real character and was particularly well-known in Ossett.”

Mr Richmond owned racehorses, and won the Northern Handicap in York with one called Thorner Lane.

He was a keen sportsman, playing rugby league before he joined the forces and in his later years playing cricket for a local club called the Penguins.

He was also a member of Woodthorpe Golf Club for more than 50 years, and the club has a competition trophy named after him.

Mr Richmond leaves another son Michael, who now runs the shop side of the business, four grandchildren and one great-grandson. He married Beryl in 1944 but spent his later years with partner Laura.