Header image

The Team

Howard Watts portrait

Howard Watts

Owner
Stephen Markham portrait

Stephen Markham

Master Technician
Peter Fiddes portrait

Peter Fiddes

Master Technician
John Herbert portrait

John Herbert

Senior Mechanic
Debbie Whiteman portrait

Debbie Whiteman

Assistant To Howard Watts

Our History

Riddelsdell Bros has been in business in Boxford since 1900, making it one of Europe's oldest recording working garages. Now trading as Howard Watts Automotive, incorporating Riddelsdell Bros Limited, the business continues to evolve and provide an ever increasing portfolio of automotive services for both modern & classic cars and motorbikes.. We are discovering more about our history all the time and we would love to hear from you if you have something to share.

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1900

Founded by Mr Percy J Riddelsdell & M Riddelsdell.
Riddelsdell Bros Ltd was established as a Torpedo motorcycle manufacturer.

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1918

The firm moved into the present Boxford location where the main frontage buildings, which still exist today, were erected.

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1922

The garage was sold to H & S Dyer & A Elmer. A showroom was constructed in part of the frontage building to promote car sales.

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1926

Percy Riddelsdell bought the business outright. By this time the garage was an established automotive workshop servicing the local community and beyond.

1926 image

1926

From 1926 Riddelsdell continued as 'contracted authorised Agents' for the sale of new Morris Cowley, Humber and Daimler cars as well as Triumph Motor Cycles. Sales were being promoted on the values of providing 'an efficient service' with 'part exchanges a speciality', both being held to this day. With a telephone number of '10' Riddelsdell Bros were obviously at the forefront of technology(!) with the tenth telephone in the village.

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1969

The garage was sold to P Elmer & R Vipond.
The business became a main dealer for Austin Morris & British Leyland Cars.

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1971

Meanwhile, a 16 year old Howard Watts leaves school but is not allowed to work in the car trade by his family despite wanting to do so. His Father persuades him to learn a trade and he subsequently starts work at BOC Murex, Waltham Abbey, as an apprentice welding engineer, little knowing that he would eventually enter the motor trade and follow the family tradition started by his Father and Uncle, Fred and Maurice Watts, the proprietors of Car Sprayers, Colchester.

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1987

Riddelsdell Bros. became a Subaru main dealer, embracing the increasing popularity of these reliable and affordable Japanese cars.

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1987

The business expanded by becoming an agent for Isuzu's range of 4x4 vehicles, ideal for use in rural Suffolk.

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1988

Roger Vipond bought Riddelsdell Bros outright.

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2000

Riddelsdell Bros Ltd celebrates 100 years of business.

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2001

Howard Watts fulfilled his ambition of owning and running the Riddelsdell Bros garage when Roger Vipond agreed to sell the business. 

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2002

Howard’s passion for Jaguar, Porsche and Ferrari developed the business into an independent specialist, employing highly skilled technicians to work on performance and classic cars.

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2003

Riddelsdell Bros is recognised as one of the oldest recorded working garages in Europe.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring...

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2004

The garage partners with Gulf Oil to become the world's smallest Gulf petrol station, a distinction it holds to this day.

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2007

Albert Crighton (left) retired after 52 years of service at the garage.

http://www.suffolkfreepress.co...

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2014

A Secure Vehicle Storage facility is established within close proximity of the Boxford garage.


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2017

The Howard Watts Group formed, incorporating Howard Watts Automotive and Riddelsdell Bros Ltd, to continue to provide a wide range of automotive services.