History of Richardsons Jewellers

Richardsons Jewellers through the years

1944 – Vivian Richardson started the business

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In 1944 at the age of 34, Vivian Richardson started a business repairing watches and clocks in a workshop he had built in the garden of his home in Chapel Road, Flitwick. During the next few years, he studied in the evenings and at weekends with The British Horological Institute and following his success in their extremely demanding Correspondence Course, in which he was top student of his year, he was awarded Craft Membership of the Institute. Read more about Vivian Richardson

1953 – Small shop opened in Dunstable Street, Ampthill

In 1953 he opened a small shop in Dunstable Street, Ampthill where he sold watches and jewellery during the day, repairing watches and clocks in his Flitwick workshop during the evenings and weekends.

1961 – Peter joined Richardsons

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In 1961 Vivian’s son, Peter joined Richardsons of Ampthill.

Peter is a Director of Richardsons of Ampthill Ltd. He was educated at Luton Grammar School and was apprenticed to his father, Vivian Richardson. He is a Fellow of the British Horological Institute and a Freeman of the Clockmakers Company.

Ampthill in 1969

In this video on the BFI you can see Richardsons of Ampthill when we purchased The Market House:


1971 – Market house opened

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In May 1970, Vivian and Peter bought The Market House in the centre of Ampthill. Built in 1791, a Grade Two listed building and formally a butcher’s shop, it was in a poor state of repair. After seven months, during which they worked every evening from 7 o’clock until midnight and all day on Sundays, The Market House opened as a jewellers on 15th February 1971 – Decimal Day.

1985 – Long Case Clocks

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Vivian had always dreamed of making a long case clock and from 1975 until 1985 he was able to realize his ambition. During that time he built several long case clocks, a skeleton clock and a bracket clock, designing and making every component in his workshop in Flitwick.

He is shown in the photograph above with his first clock which is occasionally on display in the Market House.

Vivian remained active until the end of his life – he died in 1998

1987 – Philip joined Richardsons

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Over the succeeding years the business grew, attracting customers from a wide area and Vivian was delighted when his grandson, Philip joined the business in 1987.

Philip is a Director of Richardson of Ampthill Ltd. He was educated at Bedford Modern School and the Lausanne Institute in Switzerland. He was trained by his grandfather Vivian and his father Peter. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Goldsmiths and holds a Diploma in Retail Jewellery