In 1806 Suttons Seeds was founded in Reading by John Sutton. Offices, warehouses and other buildings covered 6 acres of land behind a shop in Market Place. Not just any old shop though, the frontage was made from white Mansfield stone with fascias of Forest Dean stone incorporating gilded lettering and columns of Bristol blue. Green slates adorned the roof and the steps were made from Portland stone. Very grand as you can see from this old photo.
A huge number of people were employed at the Reading site over the years and later at the new purpose built factory and offices on the company’s trial grounds to the east of Reading at Earley. This site included a glasshouse complex, bowling green and tennis courts which were later gifted to the town.
Suttons remained at Earley until relocating to Devon in 1976 so in total operated in the Reading area for 170 years. So, it really is not surprising that items kept as souvenirs, thrown out, found and recycled or picked up at local markets keep popping-up.
We are often contacted by customers wishing to share with us photos and details of Suttons items they have found, including old seed tins, packets and catalogues. One such recent contact came from someone who’s Grandad used four of the pictured Suttons signs to form a compost heap! Although Grandad never worked for Suttons he mended lawnmowers in the Reading area and was a keen gardener so probably found the signs thrown away and found a use for them.
So what else is out there, sitting in lofts, garages or maybe forming a useful function such as creating a compost heap?
If anyone reading this blog has something of interest then please let us know. We’d love to see a photo and maybe to learn a little about both the item and the person to whom it belonged. Your junk could be our lost treasure!
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