JOHN RICHARDSON & SON, TIMBER MERCHANT and HOME IMPROVEMENTS, PENRITH
Over the last 160 years the name of John Richardson & Son is well known in our area for quality timber, joinery & funeral directors. The current team are very aware of this and in their own words they feel that they are the caretakers for the business and they are keen to improve their good name.
The modern facilities they now have on 3 sites have greatly improved their operation & working conditions for both the staff and the customers.
The firm was founded in 1852 by John Richardson as joinery contractors and timber specialists, their premises were at Scott Lane adjoining Morrisons new supermarket now, in those days most of the timber was home grown and this required them to buy staining timber which they then had felled using shire horses to snig out and deliver to three yard by horse and wagons to their yard, to cut the timber to size they firstly used a coal fired boiler which operated a large back saw this was changed in the early 1900's with the onset of electricity as a new beam saw was purchased, when in full use in the winter months this was very noticeable to the local people by the dimming of their lights. Before motor vehicles were in use the firm delivered timber by horse and wagons, they had their own shire horses and stables on site, one of the links to the town was the ringing of the Richardson's bell, this took place 4 times a day, at the start and finish of the day, the bell has now been refurbished and is now on display at Richardson's with other memorabilia of the firms history.
In 1985 Donald now in his 70's was keen to find a new owner to carry on his families business, another family business agreed and purchased the business to be run in the Richardson way, new premises were found and opened that year at Roper Street being constantly improved and adapted to cope with the demands of modern business, the site now has a welcoming modern business to welcome both the trade and retail customers and cater for all of their requirements in the timber field.
In 1989 the funeral business what was originally the Carlton Hotel, Victoria Road followed in the same process, the whole of the building has been fully refurbished being keen and sympathetic to retain the Victorian architecture.
In 2002 the joinery manufacturing side of the business moved in Scotland Road with all new machines, dust extraction to cope with the fast moving technology of woodworks, this is constantly being improved with the installation in 2013 of a wood waste bio mass boiler this has greatly improved our waste costs, heating bills and in particular this means that it is at a constant temperature, we can store and acclimatize all our hardwood floorings etc, this we feel gives us a great advantage over our competition, giving a complete service in timber & quality funeral arranging gives the firm a secure future to keep going.