A 70-year-old pie recipe created by an RAF bomber pilot-turned butcher won top honours at a prestigious food contest.
Ossett-based Eric Richmond Ltd won two prizes at the Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage and Black Pudding Competition for a pork pie first made from a secret recipe in 1945.
Mr Richmond, who died two years ago, was the youngest ever Lancaster Bomber pilot in the Second World War, aged 19, before following in his father’s footsteps by setting up a butcher’s when he left the RAF.
Seven decades later, his recipe won the Small Pork Pie Class and Willis Hall Trophy in the contest, held at the Great Yorkshire Showground last Sunday.
The Eric Richmond factory on Dale Street, Ossett, was taken over last year by Tom and Anne-Marie Martin.
Mr Martin said: “We are thrilled to win this award because it is the first competition we have entered since taking over last August.
“It proves how Eric wasn’t just a brave pilot who risked his life for his country but was also a great pie maker.
“He will now go down in history for both.”
Celebrity chef Brian Turner was among judges in the contest, which is organised by the Confederation of Yorkshire Butcher’s Councils and attracted more than 300 entries.
Mr Martin said locally-sourced pork and making their own hot water pastry helped make Eric Richmond’s pie a winner - but the seasoning to the recipe remained a closely-guarded secret.
He said: “It’s down to the balance. Fans always comment on how crumbly and delicious the pastry is and the flavour of the meat and jelly.”
Eric Richmond, who flew on missions with RAF 100 Squadron, stationed in Lincolnshire during the war, went on to open seven shops around Yorkshire.
He reared his own cattle and pigs and was so respected in the industry he went on to judge at the Royal Smithfield Show.
The Martin’s bought the Ossett factory from Eric Richmond’s son Robin, and still supply products to Michael Richmond, another son who still runs a butcher’s shop on Barnsley Road, Wakefield.
They sell around 6,000 of the award-winning pies every week around Yorkshire, including to butcher’s stalls in Pontefract and Leeds Kirkgate markets.
Working with a team of 15 staff, they make more than 100 different pies and 10 varieties of sausage.