TL1406 : Former Ryder Seeds Exhibition Hall

taken 11 years ago, near to St Albans, Hertfordshire, Great Britain

Former Ryder Seeds Exhibition Hall
Former Ryder Seeds Exhibition Hall
In the 1890s Samuel Ryder started a seed business in his garden shed at his home in Folly Lane, St Albans, selling seeds in penny packets which he sent by post, using St Albans' transport links. As the business expanded, he had to move premises a few times, ending up in premises on Holywell Hill, which he bought in 1903. The main head office was built in 1911 (visible on the left of this photo - see TL1406 : Former Ryder Seeds Head Office) and twenty years later an exhibition hall was added, seen in the centre of the photo, for displaying the company's products including plants grown from his seeds. It was designed by the same architect as the office building, Percival Blow, and built by local builders Miskin. Eventually the company was taken over by Suttons Seeds, and for a while the two buildings served as the Post Office sorting office for St Albans. Since the 1990s it has been occupied by Café Rouge as a restaurant. The building is grade II listed - see LinkExternal link.

Samuel Ryder also co-founded with his brother the herbal business Heath and Heather, which had a prominent warehouse just south of St Albans City Station, the business eventually being sold to Holland and Barrett.

But Samuel Ryder was much more than a very successful businessman. He was a local councillor between 1903 and 1916, and was elected Mayor of St Albans in 1905. He was also a very religious man, acting as a deacon of the local congregational church (see TL1507 : Trinity Church), to which he contributed part of the building cost. But his most lasting gift was in the world of golf, a sport he took up at the age of 49 for health reasons, playing at Verulam Golf Club where he was three times captain. Through his company Heath and Heather he sponsored a number of professional golf tournaments, before in 1926 proposing a challenge match between the USA and Great Britain & Ireland. The cup he presented for the winner was the Ryder Cup, still the greatest team competition in golfing world.

He died on 2 January 1936, aged 77, and is buried in Hatfield Road Cemetery (see TL1607 : Samuel Ryder's grave).
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TL1406, 263 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 2 October, 2011   (more nearby)
Monday, 10 October, 2011
Geographical Context
Business, Retail, Services  City, Town centre 
Place (from Tags)
St Albans 
Person (from Tags)
Samuel Ryder 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 146 069 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:44.9697N 0:20.4272W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 146 069
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Grade II Listed  Holywell Hill  Art Deco  Cafe Rouge 

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Image classification(about): Geograph
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