Memorial to be held for 'Mr Epsom' Roy Richmond
11:52am Wednesday 23rd February 2011 in News
A public memorial is to be held in honour of Roy “Mr Epsom” Richmond, who died in January after a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.
As chairman of Epsom Coaches, 85-year-old Roy steered the business to success and 90 years after its launch the family-run business is still based in the heart of Epsom.
Founded by Roy’s father, Herbert Roderick Hammond in 1920, the business began with a fleet of ‘charabancs’, horse-less motor cars popular for day trips in the 1920s.
With Roy and Brother Jack at their father’s side, the business soon grew with saloon coaches replacing charabancs.
Then In 1939, the Brothers were enlisted during the Second World War leaving their father to run the business.
Jack was killed in action, but Roy returned in 1947 to help rebuild the business which had suffered during the war.
As chairman of the board of directors, Roy piloted the revolutionary hopper bus service improving transport links to side roads.
The scheme was so successful it was rolled out across the UK, and in 1988 Roy received an MBE for his service to the bus and coach industry.
He went on to become the youngest president of the Epsom Chamber of Commerce and later the president of the Epsom and Ewell silver band and Rotary Club to become an honorary freeman of the borough in 1991.
A strong supporter of the community, Mr Richmond and his wife Nancy founded the Butterfly Appeal in 1991 helping to raise funds for the Macmillan Butterfly Cancer centre which opened at Epsom hospital in 2001.
Plans are under way to rename part of Blenheim Road, Roy Richmond Way in a fitting tribute to the man known as “Mr Epsom”.
Councillor Robert Leach said: “He was loyal to Epsom and provided a valuable service to the community.
“I’m not aware of any councillor from any political group who has ever said anything bad about him.
“He was a thoroughly decent man, very popular and highly regarded, ran a successful business and was very concerned for the welfare of his fellow man.
“We could do with more Roy Richmonds.”
A public memorial service will be held at 2.30pm on Wednesday March 9 at St Martin’s Church in Epsom.