During cupboard clear-outs, staff at Thompson & Morgan recently came across a rare vintage archive of Thompson & Morgan seed catalogues, including those that were printed during the First World War.

Thompson & Morgan, which is one of the UK’s largest mail order seed and plant companies, was founded back in 1855 in a small garden behind a baker’s shop in Ipswich, by a young William Thompson with a passion for botany.

His speciality was growing rare and unusual plants whose seeds were sent from countries all over the world, and he is believed to have established a friendship with Charles Darwin.

During a clear-out of some of the cupboards as part of a major development to its Poplar Lane site, staff made the unexpected discovery.

“The seeds catalogues we discovered from 1914 and 1918 are particularly poignant,” said the company’s communications office, Sonia Mermagen.

Read more at the East Anglian Daily Times (Jessica Hill)