|24 Jun 2021|
When Richard was born, in 1941, his father was serving overseas in the Military Police of the British Army. He was five before he met his father for the first time.
On his return to civilian life, his father secured a position as a gamekeeper working on the Summerhill Estate in Tonbridge whilst living in Tudeley. Richard was always so grateful for his education and spoke fondly of his time at Judd. We believe he felt it gave him the building blocks, the structure and the respect of others to run a successful business.
On leaving school he trained as a precision engineer and went to work for Smith & Nephew, but soon returned to Kent where he developed his own engineering business. In 1970 an opportunity came along and Richard invested in a firm called Clovis Lande. This venture took him all over Europe and the Middle East manufacturing plastic tunnels and shade houses for the Horticultural industry. With his skills in engineering he was able to develop heating systems, irrigation systems and other methods of greenhouse permaculture and ecological engineering.
He was proud to have been able to provide work for local people and their families. Richard always worked hard, however he did manage to enjoy retirement, when he passed the firm to his son.
He had a love of cars and the world around him, and spent many happy days living in between the UK and Portugal.
He passed away peacefully on 1st May 2021. Richard lived as he had wished, and he leaves a legacy in his family, his friends and in all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
He has been loved, is already much missed and will be remembered with fondness and appreciation always.
His fellow newcomers to Judd in 1952 could not recall a great deal about Richard after the first few years there. The explanation has now come to light: Richard attended The Judd School, however, he only attended from 1952 to 1955 when the family moved to Harpenden.
A few years later he took his first job with a medical equipment company, Smith & Nephew. His next move was to Bough Beech when he worked as a Precision Engineer for a firm in Edenbridge.
Richard married Sally in 1966 and they first moved into a cottage in Ide Hill and from there to Langton Green. It was here that Richard began his own business setting up an engineering company in his garage. His next move, in a partnership called Newvell, was to larger premises in Marden.
In late 1970 he entered a new partnership in a company called Clovis Lande in East Peckham with a friend who unfortunately was killed in a car accident just a few years later. Richard, working hard, carried on alone and built a very successful business building greenhouses and shade houses in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East including a lot of work in Africa.
It was important to him that there was manufacturing in Britain, and he was proud of creating a business, giving people employment, and contributing to the country through his taxes. He also took this British manufacturing out into the world, providing the environments in which crops could be grown, and new crops could be developed.
Richard’s work often took him abroad but he treasured his time at home with his family - son Greg and daughter Emma - and although Richard and wife Sally eventually went their different ways they maintained a friendly relationship.
When it came time to retire, his son, Greg, took over the business- something that both father and son had long wanted.
Richard met Judy in 1996 and they spent many years together in their home Brackenhurst in Pembury and in Portugal.
Richard bought property in Portugal, where he also had business interests, and loved to sail and fish – he had a yacht at Newhaven and a small boat in Portugal. In addition to his work Richard had a wide interest in the simple things of life – MG cars, motorsport, the pub, the working men’s club and the golf society. Richard was a good man. He was proud of his family and he enjoyed the company of his friends. He had experienced the finer things in life, but would choose simple pleasures shared with good company over fancier options.
In many ways, Richard was a man of his generation. He had a great sense of humour and an ability to make people laugh. Richard was a good man. He was proud of his family and he enjoyed the company of his friends.
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