Friday, 15 January 2010
THE manager of a former Derby cafe which became a meeting place for the rich and famous has died, aged 103. Tributes have been paid to Albert Ragg, who ran the Kardomah Cafe in the Corn Market for more than 33 years.
During its heyday the cafe was the place to be seen, attracting the likes of Brian Clough, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and stars appearing at the Hippodrome theatre.
Mr Ragg, who had lived in the same house in Chaddesden since he moved to the city from Merseyside in 1934, died at Derbyshire Royal Infirmary on Saturday.
His daughter, Susan Nuttall, 69, who now lives in South Africa, said her father had loved running the cafe.
She said: "He used to talk about it all the time. My father used to talk about the people who went into the cafe such as the actor Richard Todd. My mum was a huge football fan so she always used to tell me about the Derby County players that visited regularly and the manager Brian Clough."
Born in Birkenhead, Mr Ragg moved to Derby with his wife, Marjorie, who died in 1993.
He took over as manager of the former Kardomah Cafe and stayed in the job for 33-and-a-half years until he retired in 1969.
During the Second World War, Mr Ragg was in a reserved occupation in catering, so he was not able to join the armed forces. Instead, he signed up to Derby's Home Guard.
The Derby County fan was also a member of the former Derby Society of Lancastrians for many years.
Mr Ragg also leaves his son, Ian Ragg, 73, of Chaddesden, 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Susan added: "My father was always very interested in people. He was a gentle person with a patient manner and loved chatting to anyone."
The cafe was owned by a firm called Kardomah Ltd which, at the start of the Second World War, had 30 branches around the country, including six in both Liverpool and London.
Mr Ragg eventually went on to become area manager, overseeing the branches in Derby and Nottingham.
The firm finally sold out to a major catering chain which closed the venue in 1980.
Mr Ragg's funeral takes place at Markeaton Crematorium on Monday at 2.20pm. Nov 2008