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Richardson Family Visit from Australia

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We recently had some special visitors from Australia – David and Troy Richardson, the grandson and great grandson of the Richardson family who designed and built cars in Sheffield.

They travelled from Australia especially to visit Sheffield and see the Richardson Light Car on display at Kelham Island Museum. David says, “we were both in awe when we sighted the car and what was originally planned to be a two hour visit lasted a great deal longer”.

The 1921 Richardson Light Car at the museum is the only surviving example in its original form.

Charles Ebenezer Richardson was a toymaker by trade.  After the First World War, he was one of many manufacturers who realised there was a market for simple, cheap vehicles.  Between 1919 and 1921, C. E. Richardson & Co produced about 500 complete Light Cars at the Finbat Works, Aizlewood Road.  Out of all Sheffield’s car manufacturers, Richardson’s came the closest to assembly line production.

The Richardson was admired by the motoring press and performed well in reliability trials.  The car quickly became popular with less wealthy drivers and provided a drier and more comfortable form of transport than a motorcycle.

Both David and Troy have continued in C. E. Richardson’s footsteps and have been involved in building, repairing, servicing and modifying motor vehicles.  David was a manufacturing engineer with Nissan for many years, responsible for the mass production of vehicles.  Troy completed a motor mechanic apprenticeship with Nissan and has since started his own motor mechanic business, Eastern Auto Tech.

David adds “We are so proud of our family's past. Even four months after our visit we still talk about Kelham Island Museum. Sheffield has done themselves proud”.

After their visit to Sheffield, David and Troy set a goal to build a replica Richardson Light Car that looks similar to the original but with a more modern approach in terms of mechanics.  The plans are still being finalised but the progress of the project will be documented on the Eastern Auto Tech website (www.easternautotech.com.au).

Posted in Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust | Kelham Island Museum

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