Chip, chip, hooray! Boss of South Shields' Colmans restaurants Richard Ord gets MBE in New Year's Honours list

The owner of one of South Tyneside’s best-known restaurants has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

By Tommy Greene
Monday, 4th January 2021, 5:50 pm

Richard Ord, owner of Colmans Fish & Chips and Colmans Seafood Temple in South Shields, has been awarded the MBE for his services to the hospitality industry and regeneration in South Tyneside.

The 66-year-old first started cutting fish at Colmans Ocean Road in 1969, aged 15, when fish and chips cost just 10p. At the time, he was the fourth generation to have worked in the family business, which started out as a beach shack in 1905 and moved to its current premises in 1926.

With more than 50 years’ experience, he has served fish and chips at high-profile events such as the Queen’s Birthday celebrations in Guatemala in 2008.

Colmans boss Richard Ord has been given an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours

Colmans on Ocean Road has attracted a host of celebrity visitors down the years. In 2017, Richard bought Gandhi’s Temple on the seafront and turned it into an award-winning seafood restaurant and one of the most unique dining rooms in the country.

Now in the hands of Richard’s wife Frances and fifth-generation sons of the family, Richard and Dominic, Colmans Seafood Temple has attracted visitors from all over the country and helped drive tourism in the borough.

Speaking about his MBE, Richard, from Whitburn, said the state honour was dedicated to his family and his customers.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and shocked. I never imagined in a million years I would be put forward for something like this but I’m very grateful for those that did. To me, I’ve done no more or no less than anyone else, I just go to work and do what I’ve always loved doing.

Colmans boss Richard Ord has been given an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours

“After such a difficult year for everybody in the hospitality industry, it’s just wonderful news.”

Reflecting on his contribution to the local hospitality industry, he added: “I would like to think I’ve contributed somewhat, I’ve always encouraged others and tried to pass on our expertise and knowledge, to lead the way and do the right thing.

"The fish and chip industry has progressed hugely over the years, it’s much more environmentally aware and professional than when I first started. And, contrary to belief, fish and chips are far better now than what they were 50 years ago. The product, the packaging, the surroundings and the service, it’s been elevated to a whole new level. I love it and I can’t imagine myself ever doing anything else.

“It’s always been our family philosophy, our ethos so to speak, to be a social, economical and charitable asset to our borough. With The Temple, we’ve kept the integrity of the building so everybody still recognises it and the response we’ve had has been overwhelming.

Colmans boss Richard Ord has been given an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours

“This award is for my family, our team and all the wonderful customers Colmans has served over the past century - which I can only imagine is in the many millions. Without their support, none of this would have been possible. Our customers are paramount and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

"I must say, this award is not really for me. It’s really dedicated to my family and all the wonderful customers who have supported us over the past century.

"This one’s for them. They’ve made Colmans.”

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Colmans is one of South Tyneside's most recognised companies, and has played host to celebrities and top politicians.

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Colmans Seafood Temple at South Shields seafront.
(l-r) Frances, Dominic, Richard Ord Jnr, and Richard Ord Snr
(l-r) Richard Jnr, Frances, Richard Snr and Dominic