Hundreds pay respects to ‘Big Ron’ at Newham landlord’s funeral

PUBLISHED: 10:58 03 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 August 2016

The funeral procession arrives at one of Ron Jude's former pubs, The White Horse in East Ham

The funeral procession arrives at one of Ron Jude's former pubs, The White Horse in East Ham


Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to a well-loved landlord and “larger than life” character at his packed-out funeral yesterday.

The order of service was set out like a football programmeThe order of service was set out like a football programme

Ron Jude, who managed a host of pubs including Three Rabbits, in Romford Road, Manor Park, and The White Horse in High Street South, East Ham, died last month at the age of 76.

A die-hard West Ham fan, the ceremony at the City of London Crematorium, in Aldersbrook Road, Manor Park, had a football theme throughout with the order of service set out like a match-day programme.

Minister Derek Talbot played the part of a referee – blowing his whistle at regular interviews – while many swapped the traditional black for claret and blue.

Family and friends entered the chapel to the sounds of Vera Lynn singing Hammers anthem ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ – the lyrics were used later in the service as a prayer.

The procession passes the Boleyn GroundThe procession passes the Boleyn Ground

The father-of-five, who was raised in Inniskilling Road, Plaistow, leaves behind wife Mary, 78, 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“I sometimes see people who are good mates and buy everyone a drink but are not so good at home, but it’s something special when his family loved and adored him and yet he still had time for his friends,” said Mr Talbot.

“This man knew how to do things properly, how to look after wife and kids.”

Not just a publican, Ron spent five years in the Merchant Navy, another five at Beckton Gas Works and even drove the number 58, 69 and 238 buses as part of a husband-and-wife partnership with Mary – a “clippy”, or female bus conductor – before entering the hospitality trade.

Family pictures of 'Big Ron' JudeFamily pictures of 'Big Ron' Jude

He then became a trainee landlord at The Cock Hotel, in High Street North, East Ham, where he first met Mary in 1956, and later went on to run Stratford boozers The Pigeon, in Romford Road, and the Bay Tree Hotel, in Vicarage Lane, plus a further few pubs in Tottenham.

Setting off from funeral directors T Cribb and Sons, in Woolwich Manor Way, Beckton, the funeral procession stopped at The White Horse and the Boleyn Ground before arriving at the crematorium.

The wake was held at the East Ham Working Men’s Club, in Boleyn Road.

“Dad will always be our number one,” said Perry Jude, after reading out one of his father’s own poems.

Drinkers at The White Horse raise their glasses to the former landlordDrinkers at The White Horse raise their glasses to the former landlord

“So it’s off to East Ham Working Mens’s Club to have a ball, we’ll buy lots of drinks and we’ll drink them all.

“Love you Dad. Chin chin.”

Close friend Alain Mais described Ron’s later days spent on the Isle of Wight, where he started a Facebook campaign calling for West Ham fans to “rescue” him from his hospital bed.

“Whenever I visited him in hospital he would always thank me for coming,” he said.

A floral tribute to Ron JudeA floral tribute to Ron Jude

“That was nothing, I would have come from Australia to see him.

“Big Ron, you were larger than life in this life and you’ll be even larger up above.

“God bless you my friend. Chin chin.”

Did you know Ron? Send your tributes to or call 020 8477 3824.

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