Obituary: Portsmouth landlady Ruby Harris Cook

Ruby Harris Cook
Ruby Harris Cook
Fred Dinenage. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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POPULAR former pub landlady Ruby Harris Cook has died just months away from her 100th birthday after suffering a stroke.

Mrs Harris Cook began her working life at Airspeed Factory, Portsmouth, where she made components for planes during the Second World War.

She then went on to work as a seamstress for tailors David Gould before becoming a pub landlady, a career which spanned more than 30 years.

The 99-year-old, who was due to turn 100 in January, took over The Rose of England, in Spring Street, Landport with her first husband Sid Harris in 1950. The couple worked there for three years before running The Connaught Arms, in Guildford Road, Fratton, for 10 years.

They then moved to the Richmond Hotel, in Lake Road, Landport, where they put on successful music nights featuring scores of local acts on a stage inside the bar. Mrs Harris Cook then met her second husband Dave Cook, to whom she was married for 45 years.

The couple went on to run The Crown, Landport, and their last stint was at The Shaftesbury, in Kingston Road, Buckland.

The couple then retired and in 1983 moved to Salisbury Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.

Family members say the couple lived life to full during their retirement and enjoyed visiting New Zealand.

Mrs Harris Cook’s son Sid Harris, 67, of Southsea, said: ‘My mother was very outgoing.

‘She had a fantastic life and lived it to the full.

‘She was straight to the point with people and was like a little dynamo.

‘My mum was loved by everyone in the pub community. She will be sadly missed.’ Mrs Harris Cook was the founding member of Portsmouth Ladies Auxiliary Association, a support group for publicans.

And though her husband passed away four years ago, Mrs Harris Cook remained a lively character up until she suffered a stroke in late September.

She was then cared for at Jubilee House, in Medina Road, Cosham, before she died there on October 29. As well as her son Sid, Mrs Harris Cook leaves behind her daughter Jean Little. Mrs Harris Cook’s funeral is at Portchester Crematorium on November 28.

A service will be held beforehand at St Margaret Church, Eastney, at 12.30pm.

Ruby Harris Cook: born January 28 1913, died

October 29 2012