Samuel Richards - Richards Shiipbuilding - My Great Grandfather?

21st September 2010, 04:36

I believe that Samuel Richards, the original founder of Richards Shipbuilders in Lowestoft, is my Great-Grandfather. (aaargh! sorry for the typo in the title of my post!! grrrr)

My mother's father was Reginald Richards. He had a brother Cyril, another bother Louis (or Lewis?), another brother (I think, but perhaps not) - whose name I do not know, and a sister, Winnifred. All children of Samuel.

I have a picture of my mother, at the age of 10 or so, breaking a bottle of champers over the bow of a ship in preparation for it's maiden launch. This would have been around 1936. Unfortunatley, I do not see anything in the picture that would readily identify the vessel that is in the process of being launched. I also have a couple of other pictures of my mother with a family member here and there, and perhaps her dad, taken around Lowestoft.

I'm really interested in learning about my family history and I'd really love to come across a picture of Samuel and... his wife?? What was her name? Anything would be welcome.

My father is still alive and still remembers a bit about the goings on in Lowestoft in the early 20th Century - as told to him by his lovely bride, now deceased. Better hurry if you have a question to pose to him. He's 90+.

Hope to hear from you, and I hope I haven't cried wolf here about my ancestry!

Thanks - Jim Laner

21st September 2010, 10:14
If this is of any use
In the 1901 Census Samuel Richards aged 48 was living at “Ocean View “ Battery ? Green Road Lowestoft with his wife Alice M aged 41 and 7 children and a servant
Samual is a shipbuilder wood & iron an employer he was born in Penzance Cornwall his wife Alice M ( Possibly Alice Marsters Hame DoB 1859 marriage recorded in Mutford in December quarter of 1883 in volume 4a page 1747) born in Hull all the children born in Lowestoft,

The children’s names are a bit difficult to decipher possibly Louis aged 8, Reggie Taged 10. Elsie aged 4 a daughter (possibly Alice Irene T )aged 16 and Winifred G aged 2


21st September 2010, 19:06
There was one book published in 1976 to mark the centenary of the shipyard; maybe there was another after 125 years. A picture of the owner may have been included.

Boy Willie
26th September 2010, 10:45
The 1976 book on Richards' Shipyard was called '75 Years of Shipbuilding' , so not quite a centenary. It crops up on eBay occasionally.

Stephen Wood
28th December 2011, 01:15
Dear James Laner,

My name is Stephen Wood and I am also a great Grandson of Samuel Richards. I have been gently researching the life of Samuel Richards over the last couple of years and have some material that may be interesting to you and your family (including photos, family stories, etc).

I would be very happy to pass on any material I have to you and hopefully share information. If it helps my e-mail address is

I look forward to hearing from you.