My Mum used to bemoan the fact that she didn’t ask enough questions of elderly relations. Suddenly they aren’t here anymore and it’s too late……..
I wish I’d asked Mum more about Ye Olde Cross. My uncle Bobby (Robert William Rochester) was killed at Dunkirk. He was the best friend of the son of the landlord and landlady of Ye Olde Cross and very much part of their family. I know they were devastated when he died, but what I don’t know is their names. Why didn’t I ask and write it down? I’m sure it must be possible for me to look it up and I’m going to do it.
Mum and Dad were married on 18th May 1944 at Ryton Holy Cross Church and held their reception in Ye Olde Cross. Despite rationing, someone produced a bottle of whisky and a fruit cake. Mum died at the end of 2016 and it felt right to hold her wake in the pub.
Uncle Bobby’s granddaughter Sarah also came up to visit Ye Olde Cross, wanting to spend time in her grandfather’s surroundings. This is why it is special to me.
It’s special to others. Ryton resident Colin Cheeseman ( a leading member in the bid to save the pub) tells me that this was his local and second home. Two of his daughters held their wedding receptions here, and his grandchildren celebrated christenings. The venue is fantastic, particularly recently with the glorious autumn colours.