Business to cease trading after 68 years

Kathryn and David Rutherford, who run Rutherford's electrical shop in Stamford Bridge.
Kathryn and David Rutherford, who run Rutherford's electrical shop in Stamford Bridge.

An electrical shop and family business which has been trading in Stamford Bridge for 68 years is to close.

The shop, which is East Yorkshire’s oldest Panasonic dealer, grew out of Scotsman Robert Rutherford’s garage in the The Square in Stamford Bridge and has traded as an electrical shop since 1948.

David Rutherford, who runs the business with his wife Kathryn, said the closure is due to “the down-turn in business over the last few years in particular.”

The shop will close its doors for the last time on 31 March this year.

Initially, the business was run by the second generation Rutherford brothers. William specialised in contracting and wiring houses and farms. James was a time served radio engineer and quickly grasped the opportunity offered by television in the early 1950s, building a TV set on which to watch the 1953 Coronation. The business ran in the same manner for a number of years until William died and the decision had to be made to let go of the contracting work and specialise in TV and household appliances. James’s wife Kathleen joined the business at that point.

James’s son David, also an electronics engineer, came into the business in 1969 and his wife, Kathryn in 1983, and they worked on until James and Kathleen retired. Panasonic, Bosch, Hotpoint and Sebo have been the main agencies in the business, which has always resisted the temptation to join a buying group. The business has been run for the last 16 years by David and Kathryn. Stephen Kett joined the staff 25 years ago as an electronics engineer, to help David keep on top of all the service, repair and installation work.

David said: “Over the years, Rutherford’s has seen many famous local companies give up in the world of electrical trading. They have endured competition from all sides – discount warehouses, distance sellers and many others. The final straw has come from the supermarkets and particularly internet trading, which offers completely unsustainable price levels that very few ‘bricks and mortar’ traders can compete with. This has led to an exodus of normally loyal customers who have decided that better price is more attractive than better service.”

He added: “We thank all our remaining customers for their support over the years. We will miss seeing all the familiar faces and just hope that they can find another company that can give them the support and help that we have always tried to do. Needless to say, we will continue to give what help we can until the closure. We believe that the closure of this business will be a sad loss to the village and local area.”