Hundreds expected at funeral of popular ex-Newport landlord

Ex Lanlord of the Ridgeway Inn Ronald Wallis recently passed away. Pictured is a copy of a photograph of Ronald whilst on a cruise ship holiday 2 years ago. (9261371)

Ex Lanlord of the Ridgeway Inn Ronald Wallis recently passed away. Pictured is a copy of a photograph of Ronald with his wife Rosalie. (9261429)

Ex Lanlord of the Ridgeway Inn Ronald Wallis recently passed away. Pictured is a copy of a photograph of Ronald in a makeshift bar he built in his Guest house for the residents. (9261401)

Ex Lanlord of the Ridgeway Inn Ronald Wallis recently passed away. Pictured is a copy of a photograph of Ronald behind the bar at the Ridgeway Inn. (9261375)

Ex Lanlord of the Ridgeway Inn Ronald Wallis recently passed away. Pictured is a copy of a photograph of Ronald during security duties for the Merchant Navy in London 3 years ago. (9261443)

First published in Gwent news by

A GLOBETROTTING ex-pub landlord known affectionately as The Showman has died at his Newport home.

The funeral of Ron Wallis, former landlord of the Ridgeway Inn in Allt-yr-yn, takes place today (Thursday) at St Mark's Church in Gold Tops at 12 noon, followed by interment at St Woolos Cemetery and a wake at Pill Harriers.

Mr Wallis, known in his schooldays by the nickname "Latin", had been due to undergo heart surgery in September when he died suddenly last Wednesday after enjoying a night out with friends.

His wife of almost 50 years, Rosalie found him downstairs at their home, having suffered a heart attack.

He will arrive at his funeral today in a horse-drawn carriage.

Born on August 24, 1946, in Malpas, Mr Wallis was one of four sons who left school to become a foreman at Newport Demolition for two decades, helping to knock down swathes of Shaftesbury and Cambrian Road.

He met his future wife Rosalie at Newport's Picton Arms in March 1964. She remembers him walking into the bar and looking at her before saying: "I'm going to marry that girl."

The pair wed at Bethany Chapel in Risca the following March and had four children, Darren, now 49, Delwyn, 48, David, 45, and Maria, 43.

The couple ran Rosemarie's cafe in Pill in the 1970s and 80s, a restaurant at Shire Hall and a guesthouse in Pentonville in the city centre until the 1990s before taking up the Ridgeway Inn for 10 years.

"We had no intention of being landlords," laughed Mrs Wallis.

Regulars will remember Mr Wallis, who was in the Masons, for his clean white shirt and tie, which he wore even in hot weather, at the beach or when he worked at a blast furnace, said Mrs Wallis.

Sons Darren and Delwyn remember their father becoming their sergeant and instructor in the Army Cadets when they were youngsters and even making the front page of the Argus in 1973 when he fell off a skateboard and broke his arm.

Tug of war competitions, floats at Pill Carnival, city centre marching parades, and sponsoring boxers at St Joseph's gym to help them buy kit all followed, and Mrs Wallis believes her husband will be remembered as "a proper character", often propping up the bar of his favourite Newport pubs.

"Even people who he barred from the pub have sent us messages of condolence," she said.

After retiring the life-long Manchester United supporter, whose coffin will be draped with the team's flag, spent more time fulfilling his love of travelling, buying three newspapers a day, even when abroad.

"He had been ill for five years and when he died there was no pain or suffering," said Mrs Wallis. "He was a good husband and an excellent father."

Daughter Maria said the family would like to thank everyone who has sent messages of condolence or flowers from as far afield as Australia, Thailand, Spain and the USA.

Comments (5)

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9:23am Thu 14 Aug 14

DavidMclean says...

Rest in Peace Ron. The landlord of the first and only pub I ever considered my local. One of Newport's real characters, the city will be a little less colourful with his passing.

Thoughts are with Rose and family.
Rest in Peace Ron. The landlord of the first and only pub I ever considered my local. One of Newport's real characters, the city will be a little less colourful with his passing. Thoughts are with Rose and family. DavidMclean
  • Score: 6

7:02pm Thu 14 Aug 14

bodlondon says...

A genuinely lovely man who will be very much missed

Rest in peace brother
A genuinely lovely man who will be very much missed Rest in peace brother bodlondon
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Thu 14 Aug 14

DavidMclean says...

Ron's funeral was just like he would have wanted. His family did him proud and he left us in style. There was even a rumble or two of thunder as he entered the packed church. That could only happen for Big Ron.
Ron's funeral was just like he would have wanted. His family did him proud and he left us in style. There was even a rumble or two of thunder as he entered the packed church. That could only happen for Big Ron. DavidMclean
  • Score: 3

11:38pm Thu 14 Aug 14

john the baker says...

Thanks to RON and the rest of his BRILLIANT family,In the time they arrived until the day they left ,I never saw one bit of hassle in THE RIDGEWAY PUB.Everyone was one big happy family and nothing was to much trouble.RON was a one off,always gave you a glint of his gold tooth,And a wicked sense of humour.A good landlord,a good laugh and a great friend.He will be sorely missed,The last of the showmen indeed.My love and regards to the rest of the family.John the baker xx
Thanks to RON and the rest of his BRILLIANT family,In the time they arrived until the day they left ,I never saw one bit of hassle in THE RIDGEWAY PUB.Everyone was one big happy family and nothing was to much trouble.RON was a one off,always gave you a glint of his gold tooth,And a wicked sense of humour.A good landlord,a good laugh and a great friend.He will be sorely missed,The last of the showmen indeed.My love and regards to the rest of the family.John the baker xx john the baker
  • Score: 1

3:51pm Fri 15 Aug 14

garydav says...

R.I.P Ron, you and rose looked after me in the 80s at chimneys. lots of good times.

Rose, accept mine and bevs condolences, both of you were like surrogate parents. Did,nt even know till today.
R.I.P Ron, you and rose looked after me in the 80s at chimneys. lots of good times. Rose, accept mine and bevs condolences, both of you were like surrogate parents. Did,nt even know till today. garydav
  • Score: 0

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