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Orford: Tributes paid to smokehouse owner

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 January 2013

Steve Richardson removes a tray of fish from the oak smoke house, at Orford

Steve Richardson removes a tray of fish from the oak smoke house, at Orford

A LOCAL food luminary and champion of age-old curing techniques has been affectionately remembered following his death aged 69.

Steve Richardson was well-known throughout Suffolk and further afield for the traditional methods he perfected over almost three decades in a tiny but celebrated Orford smokehouse.

He rekindled the grandfather’s business after being made redundant from Ipswich-based lawnmower manufacturer Ransomes, and started out by smoking mackerel on Fridays to sell in local pubs.

About a year later he was joined in business by Veronica Buckley, who is also the mother of Mr Richardson’s 29-year-old son, Tim. She said: “Steve was such a character. He was very popular and it will be hard for everyone to get used to him not being around. It’s a real shock.

“He always said exactly what was on his mind and could sometimes be downright cantankerous - but I don’t think he had a bad bone in his body. He was just easy to be with.”

Mr Richardson died of a heart attack on Friday, January 18. He was admitted to hospital the previous afternoon and had been unwell since the turn of the year.

Over the years, Richardson’s Smokehouse has developed a loyal crowd of customers who revere its selection of meat and cheese and fish.

The shop has also garnered lofty praise from food experts and chefs, including journalist and broadcaster Nigel Slater who wrote fondly about his visit in 2010 for The Observer Food and Drink Magazine.

Mr Richardson’s funeral will take place at Orford’s Church of St Bartholomew on Monday, February 11.

It is hoped the smokehouse will reopen in due course.

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