Long-established Ford Dealer that is at the heart of the local community.
Businesses come and businesses go, often without trace, and very rarely do they remain in the same family for more than 90 years.
But that’s not the case with Richardson’s Ford which is now in the hands of the fourth generation of the founder’s family.
As the county’s only family-owned and run Ford dealer, owners Paul and Toby Richardson are very proud of their heritage and the fact that they are firm supporters of the Bridlington Renaissance Partnership which aims to redevelop key areas of the town.
Ten years ago Paul and Toby decided to invest more heavily in Bridlington and redeveloped the Hamilton Road site - now the only main car dealer in the area - and it is an anniversary they are proud to celebrate
Richardson’s has a long and proud history in East Yorkshire. The company was established in 1919 by Percy Richardson, Toby’s great grandfather, and was mainly concerned with repairs to agricultural machinery and cars.
In the early twenties, Percy had a Standard car agency, but gave this up in 1927 to become Driffield’s Ford Main Dealer, selling cars, tractors and agricultural machinery.
Alec Richardson, Paul’s father, continued to grow the business, and the company became a major provider of cars, commercials vehicles, tractors, and agricultural machinery throughout Yorkshire.
In 1959 a new agricultural depot was opened at Sproatley in Holderness, managed by Paul, giving the business full coverage in East Yorkshire.
In 1968 Richardson’s bought the long-established Ford main dealership of Ripleys covering the Bridlington area.
The company continued to expand and both agricultural equipment and road vehicles were becoming more and more diversified and complex.
Toby said: “It was decided in the early 80s to specialise in cars and commercial vehicles, as well as growing the extensive parts wholesale operation serving Hull and the surrounding areas.
“We also bought the Grandways supermarket, and adjacent garage on Hilderthorpe road which enabled a major extension to be made to the accident repair operation.
“Because of this we were able to achieve full Ford Accident Repair status, and we are now the approved repairer for most major insurers.”
But what Toby is especially proud of is the Ford Chairman’s Award which Richardson have won on more than one occasion.
It is awarded to the dealership which is voted top by their customers in a countrywide survey for the quality of their service.
Staff loyalty is key to the success of Richardson’s.
Sales manager Stuart Clark said: “Turnover is very low with a number of our staff members clocking up 25 years’ service.
“Customers love the fact that can come back year after year and see the same friendly faces - this is particularly important when it comes to building up a relationship of trust between salesman and customers.”
Master technician James Bernman has clocked up 25 years with the company and has seen massive changes in the way the servicing and repair of vehicles is carried out.
“Computers became more widely used in the motor trade around 2000. At Richardson’s we have the latest diagnostic equipment and can repair and service any make and model of car.
“We attend regular training courses and are sent daily bulletins from Ford to keep us up to date with current technology.”
Bodyshop foreman Steve L’Anson is also a 25 year veteran. He and his team deal with everything from small scrapes to major bodywork repairs following a collision and can return a vehicle back to showroom condition.
Commercial Features Editor
Yorkshire Post Newspapers