Richard Dick

Chair and CEO of Lucy Group

This meeting was held on September 12, 2018

Richard Dick talking at My Jericho

The redevelopment of the former Jericho Health Centre site at the top of Cranham Street is still on track, said Richard Dick, Chair and CEO of Lucy Group which owns the site. Mr Dick was speaking at one of the Coffee and Conversation sessions at the Jericho Community Centre on September 12. Lucy’s have been going through pre-planning with the City, but the process is slow because of the complexities of the site. There is a right of way through it, and while some flats in St Pauls’ House are council-owned others are privately owned on long leases—an outcome of the right to buy scheme.

Richard is the third generation of the Dick family to manage what is still a privately owned business. He explained how Lucy’s had grown from a small iron foundry started 200 years ago to group of four companies that now employs more than 1,400 people around the world. Lucy’s most visible presence in Oxford is its property company, but this forms only a very small proportion of its operations – employing around 30 people. Like some other aspects of the business the property activity started by accident. Residents in Juxon Street were complaining about the noise and fumes from the foundry. Lucy’s responded by buying up the properties from St Johns and still owns many houses in Juxon Street – which accounts for the elegant iron railings and the colour schemes.

Other houses in Jericho also had iron railings but many of these were melted down for scrap during World War II when Lucy’s was manufacturing munitions.

Lucy’ iron works finally ceased operations in Jericho in 2005. With the high volume of business and the steady stream of trucks in and out of the site, the location became increasingly unsuitable. Lucy’s redeveloped the site as flats and houses – including Foundry House and Furness House. Today, only the property business is located in Oxford. Lucy Electric is in Thame and makes electrical switching equipment. Lucy Zodion is in Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire making street lighting equipment. Lucy Castings in Witney is a specialist manufacturer of iron and aluminium casting. There are also operations in Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, China, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

The company name derives from William Lucy one of the early managers of the business in the 1860s. Customers in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere are often puzzled why the company seems to have a woman’s name. But the name is helpfully distinctive. William Lucy is buried in St Sepulchre’s where the company has recently restored his grave.

Report by: Peter Stalker

The triangular site of Lucy's properties in Jericho surrounding St Sepulchres cemetery

Lucy's foundry was the original basis of the business. Photo: © Lucy Group

My Jericho is a weekly series of conversations organized by John Mair. Most are at the community centre but there are also visits to interesting places in and around Jericho. Entry £2.00 or, if at the Community Centre, you can bring a cake. Profits to the JCA.

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Forthcoming meetings

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Mark Damazer

Former MD of Radio 4, Master of St Peters College

Community Centre
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Peter Hitchens

Mail on Sunday columnist

Community Centre
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Flamenco and Jericho history
Guitarist Marcos Young and Sue Pead
Community Centre
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Father Christopher
St Barnabas Church
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Bill Emmot

Former editor of The Economist

Community Centre
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Wine and cheese party
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Jericho Cheese Company, Little Clarendon Street

Previous events

At the community centre

13-02-19Jericho Community Boatyard
06-02-19Susanna Pressel
30-01-19Fiona Hawkins
04-12-18Former postman, Ali
21-11-18Baroness Jan Royall
14-11-18Alan Rusbridger
07-11-18Rough sleepers in Oxford
31-10-18David Mills
17-10-18Roma Tearne
09-10-18Evening for Bill Heine
03-10-18Sir Christopher Ball
12-09-18Richard Dick
15-08-18Susan Brown
29-03-18Maggie Black
21-03-18Sir Rick Trainor
15-03-18Will Wyatt
14-03-18Ian Stuart
07-03-18Steph Pirrie
21-02-18Fr Jonathan Beswick
14-02-18Mark Davies
06-02-18Pandora Maxwell
31-01-18Sir Richard Peto
24-01-18Teresa O’Hara
17-01-18Maggie Whitlum
10-01-18Michel Sadones


23-01-19Lady Margaret Hall
09-01-19Lord Mayor’s Parlour
18-04-18Worcester College