Jonathan Richardson is a proud Sheffielder and MD of Russell Richardson, Sheffield’s confidential shredding, archiving and recycling experts, who on February 7 celebrate 40 years of keeping thousands of companies clutter-free and safe from fraudsters.
The business was set up by Jonathan’s dad Russell, an industrial painting and cleaning contractor, who discovered there was money to be made in recycling.
The company soon became experts in handling confidential waste and the service is now relied on by thousands of local SMEs, law firms, the head office of the Formula One Grand Prix team, numerous police forces, motor giants and even famous British fashion designers.
Its fleet of mobile shredding trucks and collection vehicles operate daily throughout the UK, its Attercliffe state of the art shredder safely destroys up to 200 tonnes of waste paper every week at the rate of seven tonnes an hour and Russell Richardson’s turnover is now at £2.5 million.
Uncle Sam’s, Ecclesall Road
My wife Ruth and I have been going here since we started dating back in 1980 - and that is 38 years ago! The place has hardly changed in all this time. To survive for so long on the ultra-competitive Ecclesall Road is no mean feat. Its longevity is testament to the fact that Uncle Sam’s just gets it right. We have the same food every time we visit, which is four or five times a year - A plain burger for Ruth, cheeseburger for me! And Ruth reckons the hot chocolate fudge cake is the best she has ever had anywhere.
Sugworth Hall (Strines)
This is where I spent the first six years of my life. It sounds a very grand address but in the early Sixties it was owned by what was then Sheffield Corporation. My parents had a wing of the building, which we sub-let from the Rose family (of Rose’s the Bakers fame). It was a great place to grow up. There were huge grounds to explore. My mum remembers a day when she woke up early one morning and could hear my voice coming from the yard outside. Apparently some workman had arrived and I had put on my vest, shorts and wellies, grabbed my seaside bucket and spade and climbed out of the lounge window to ‘help’ them!
Ok, this is not strictly a Sheffield place, but I reckon it is close enough for us to claim it as our own! I have spent many a happy hour here, walking or cycling around the three reservoirs with my wife. But more recently I have taken up fly fishing and often take a boat out onto Ladybower - with mixed success. It is quite a difficult sport to master but very fulfilling when you get it right. And even on the days when I don’t catch anything, the scenery at Ladybower is so stunning I never feel it’s been a day wasted.
Bents Drive , Ecclesall
This was the road where I lived from 15 years old. And it’s where I met my wife Ruth, who literally lived across the road from us. Initially it was the typical boy-girl teasing friendship. She used to hang out of her bedroom window, shouting sarcastic comments to me on the street below. She eventually asked me out five years later (she had got tired of waiting for me to ask her!) and I can still remember that moment like it was yesterday. I had just got home and parked up my work van, which was absolutely filthy. Ruth called to me from across the road and asked if I wanted to go for a drink. Two years later we were married and we’re still together. It’s our 36th wedding anniversary this year.
Cole Brothers (now John Lewis)
Cole’s, as we called it back in the day, was always the place to go for any major purchase. You were always reassured by the fact that you got good prices and could take stuff back with no questions asked if you changed your mind. Nothing’s changed really. I still remember my mum taking me there as a child for new shoes - Clark’s of course! And also the smell of the new carpets on the second floor. These days the store it is still my first port of call for major purchases like a new TV or a cooker.
The Fat Cat, Kelham Island
I haven’t been to the Fat Cat for a long while, but I really should. This was where I discovered what real beer tasted like. My business used to be based at Neepsend and I would often pop in for a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and a cheese sarnie for lunch. The beer was pure nectar!
Having been lucky enough to have been involved in the family business for the last 40 years, work is where I have spent the majority of my life. Today we are based in Attercliffe, which is a great location for access into Sheffield city centre and also for the motorway network. Fortunately I have had a very happy working life, although there have been some extremely tough and worrying times over the years. But we believed in the business and were determined to get through them, and we did. The company is thriving. That is testament to the wonderful people that work here. The relationship I have with my staff is something I cherish. They make my days literally fly.
Home is the sanctuary where you can close the door on the world and finally relax. I live at High Storrs and our house has fantastic views across the Mayfield Valley up towards Ringinglow and Burbage. Some of the storms you see coming down the valley can be very dramatic. And on the flip-side we get to see some lovely sunsets and stunning skylines. As our house is in the corner of a cul-de-sac we have a secluded, triangular-shaped garden which is divided in two by a line of beech trees. It is an interesting place to work and relax in. As they say, there is no place like home!
To see more about Russell Richardon click here.
Featured in the Sheffield Telergraph.