Richardson's Boating Holidays co-founder dies
Bobby Richardson, awarded the Marine Trades Association / Boating Business Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, has died after suffering a stroke.
Mr Richardson, aged 95, opened his boating portfolio with the purchase of four row boats in the early part of the war before he was ‘called up’.
Richardson’s Boating Holidays roots stem back to 1944 when Mr Richardson and his father bought Old Mill House Boatyard in Oulton Broad, from which they let row boats, sailing boats and motor launches.
“Mr Richardson was a pioneer, innovator and an entrepreneur ahead of his time,” said Greg Munford, Richardson’s, chief executive and British Marine president.
“He was one of the founding fathers of post war tourism in our region, a quiet, kind and true gentleman whose passion for boating and business has allowed millions of people to enjoy our wonderful waterways.
In 1947 Mr Richardson re-joined his father in the boat letting business, however by 1957 the hire fleet had outgrown Oulton site and the fleet of hire boats was moved to Stalham with hiring beginning in Spring 1958.
During the next 15 years the fleet increased with the expansion of this site, creating the largest boatyard on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.
Mr Richardson continued to expand the business and in 1986 Horning Boatyard was bought, followed by three boatyards on the River Thames in 1991.
The last boatyard to be purchased was Hearts Cruisers in Thorpe Norwich in 1992 and in 1993 Mr Richardson diversified bringing a new venture to the Group with the introduction of holiday villages.
Greg added: “His business has created happy memories that families and friends will never forget and that will transcend their generations.
“For those who had the privilege to know him his memory will never be lost.”
Mr Richardson leaves behind two daughters Jess and Laura, sons Paul and Clive and nine grandchildren.
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