Header image

The Team

Howard Watts portrait

Howard Watts

Peter Fiddes portrait

Peter Fiddes

Master Technician
Debbie Whiteman portrait

Debbie Whiteman

Assistant To Howard Watts
Graham Russell portrait

Graham Russell

Jan Herbert portrait

Jan Herbert

Project One East Anglia
Harry Dean portrait

Harry Dean

Brett Nicholas portrait

Brett Nicholas

Master Welder and Fabricator

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.

1900 image


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

1918 image


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

1922 image


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

1926 image


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

1926 image


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.

1969 image


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

1971 image


At the tender age of 15, Howard Watts was fully expecting to start work at his father’s car garage only to return home from school one day to be told he would not be doing any such thing. ‘He wanted me to gain valuable experience, life skills and a profession I was passionate about for myself. At sixteen I joined British Oxygen as a graduate apprentice in London and continued to buy and sell cars as a hobby.’ It was at the age of 10 when Howard decided he wanted to make cars his business.

Howard follows in the footsteps of his late father, Fred Watts who, in 1950, owned a large successful motor business, Car Sprayers Colchester, which later became M&F Watts of Colchester when his brother, Maurice, joined the business. 

1987 image


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

1987 image


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

1988 image


Roger Vipond bought Riddelsdell Bros outright.

2000 image


Riddelsdell Bros Ltd celebrates 100 years of business.

2001 image


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

2002 image


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.

2003 image


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


2004 image


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

2007 image


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


2014 image


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

2017 image


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

2018 image


A Covered Classic Car transport service is established to provide secure anonymous vehicle movements both to and from our secure storage facility and for general vehicle movements in the UK.