In this episode, John Burridge, Managing Director of Richardson Moving and Storage discusses how he started in the industry 41 years ago with the same business.
We discover that Richardson Moving and Storage was bought by John’s father who started in the industry as a clerk at Pickfords in Newcastle. In 1963 John’s father (together with his brother Morris) brought a bankrupt company called Richardson, and within 10 years they had bought a mill which they turned into a 55,000 sqft warehouse and ran 30 trucks (some of the first drawbars), but after the unexpectedly sudden death of Morris, John’s father decided to sell the assets, ‘mothballed’ the company name and retired. In 1980, when John was 18, he and his father bought an old van and brought the Richardson name back to life.
We discuss that today Richardson Moving and Storage is owned by John and one of his son’s Josh, who joined the company 5 years ago. They have their own 25,000 sqft freehold warehouse on their own site housing 560 containers and approximately 8,000 sqft of self-storage rooms, and they run 4 trucks and 2 vans with 12 fulltime staff and are proud BAR members.
We discover that Richardson Moving and Storage started in self-storage back in 2002, but John is not a fan, due to the number of times goods are handled and the distance the goods are walked, and often tries to talk people into containerised storage.
We discuss John’s challenges which are, offering a high-class service in probably the UK’s most deprived area (Teesside), working with his father, but John’s biggest challenge has been COVID.
We discover the one change John would make from his past was his father missing the opportunity to see Josh come into the business, and thus see another generation taking on the mantle.
We discuss John’s highpoints, buying his first new van, building their new warehouse, and a job John did together with Mike Devereux for Cleveland County Council.
We discover what changes John would like to see in the industry, and he has a few! Pricing, especially from the larger companies who John says must be working below cost; 3.5 tonne vehicles need regulating; To see the skill of being a removal man regulated, and thus recognising the skillset of the removal man (and woman) at governmental level; And the conveyancing system, which John says is not fit for purpose.
We discuss the driver shortage and John does not believe the root of the problem is Brexit, he believes it is because we have disrespected drivers for several years, asking why companies want to work staff 65/70 hours a week, sending them away 3-4 nights with no parking and more so no facilities. John believes times have changed in recent years, men want to spend time at home, with their families, they want to have a social life and it’s no longer all about work anymore.
We discover the advice John would give to himself just starting out in the industry again (and to Josh), is to educate yourself and understand every aspect of your business. John would have loved to have worked for another company to gain experience and an alternative view on things.
We discuss where John see’s the industry and himself in 5 years, for himself he would like to be working 3 days a week while he hangs on a couple more years for his pension, and industry wise John still believes there will always be a position for the small quality minded independent mover, with a good reputation.
We discover that outside of the industry John likes mountain biking with his wife around the UK and Europe, skiing, and watching Wharfedale R.U.F.C., where Josh plays, and Tom used to, before an injury put an end to that.
And as always we end Moving Matters with two funny moving stories, one involving the negotiation of an exchange of services to get a reduction in the price, and the other featuring a sex toy – at last!!!
Links to Richardson Moving and Storage:
Special Guest: John Burridge.