It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Walter Ritchie, founder, and owner, of Ritchies Training Centre based in Glasgow.

When National Service came into force, Walter signed up as a driver in The Royal Artillery Regiment, he soon gained his lorry licence, which kickstarted a lifelong career and passion for heavy vehicles.

He started work as a coal merchant, bagging the coal by hand, and then delivering it door to door with a horse and cart, eventually he became one of the biggest coal merchants in the West Coast of Scotland,

He moved into the Road Haulage Industry when natural gas became more readily available, he started delivering loads locally around the Glasgow area, and eventually hauling loads long-distance, overnight trunking covering the whole of the UK, with a fleet of 35 vehicles. He was an active member of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and served as Regional Chairman for Scotland and Northern Ireland for two consecutive years.

In 1981, Walter realised that training facilities for lorry drivers were rare, he stepped up and built Ritchies Training Centre from the ground up, with its own, LGV/PCV manoeuvring areas and a purpose-built construction site used for training on various types of plant equipment, mobile cranes, and tower cranes.

On 7th December 2001 the new office building was officially opened by The Rt Hon Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons. To facilitate our classroom-based course, Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor, ADR (Dangerous Goods) Transport Manager, Driver CPC to name a few.

Walter has helped hundreds of x-service personnel make a successful transition into civvy street. Providing a fixed rate, resettlement package (Pick N Mix Style), with up to 60 different courses to choose from, allowed service leavers to customise their own resettlement to maximise their employment opportunities within the Construction or Road Transport Industry.

His dedication to the industry was recognised in 2003 when he received the, SCOTTISH ROAD HAULAGE PERSONALITY of the Year award and in 2011, he received an Industry LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from Transport News (Scotland) at their annual rewards ceremony.

He took immense pride in his work and always tried his best to ensure everyone had the correct skillsets to help them secure and enhance their prospects.

Making a positive impact to people’s lives kept Walter’s commitment and passion alive for so long, still working six days a week to the end, On the morning, he died, he was still determined to get up and go to work…. Not bad for a 92-year-old.

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