Roy Richardson, Life President of the Richardson family business, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London on Monday in a ceremony held at London’s Guildhall.
The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, one of London’s Livery Companies, nominated Roy in recognition of the significant economic contribution the Richardson family business has made in London and across the country since it was founded by Roy and his twin brother Don in the first half of the twentieth century.
Today, the business continues to be family led by Martyn, Lee and Carl Richardson, with Roy as Life President, and has evolved into a dynamic real estate and private equity business with interests around the world.
The Freedom of the City of London dates back to 1237 and was originally used to enable recipients to freely carry out their trade in the city. It is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today, nearly 800 years after it was first performed.
Well known recipients have ranged from Winston Churchill and Florence Nightingale to Nelson Mandela, with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Mark Carney, the Canadian former Governor of the Bank of England, and Dame Kate Bingham, the entrepreneur who led the UK Government’s successful vaccine taskforce amongst those who have received the award more recently.
Speaking about the Freedom, Roy said;
“I am immensely proud and honoured to have received the Freedom of the City of London, and regard it as recognition for the hard work done by many in our family business over the years, not least my brother Don, and sons Martyn, Lee and Carl who now lead all the activities around the world.
As a proud Black Country man I was humbled to receive both the Freedom of Sandwell and Dudley in recent years, and I am delighted that a business born in the Black Country has developed to the extent where it is recognised by our capital in such a way.
I’ll need to check the small print, but I am hoping that this means I can now walk my sheep all the way from Sandwell to the Square Mile!”