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Ryders Seed Merchant

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Samuel Ryder 1858-1936
After working in his father’s market garden business, from the 1890s Samuel sold penny seed packets by mail order. This became a global company in St Albans. In 1920 he also began Heath & Heather with his brother James, a medicinal herbs expert. Already a philanthropist, in the 1920s Sam was a big golf sponsor and founded the biennial men’s US-UK Ryder Cup in 1927. Since 1979 it is a US-Europe tournament. Now a shop, The Bat & Ball pub is part of this composite model.

 This humorous advertisement was in the popular, satirical Punch magazine from 29 January, 1919.

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Hazle Ceramics
Ryders’ Seed Merchant
Limited Painting of 30
All painted by Hazle
on St Albans
With added 22 carat gold

£84.50 Worldwide
With Free Postage

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 Sam holds the gold Ryder Cup he donated in 1927 at Gleneagles, the 2014 host. Behind are UK pro Abe Mitchell, his coach and model for the trophy’s figure, with the first US captain.

 The Heath & Heather 1935 brochure with its 1924 St Albans warehouse. James Ryder wrote herbal books too. This brand is now owned by Holland & Barrett and creates award-winning fruit and herbal teas plus infusions.

 Sam was advised to take up golf at 49 for fresh air and exercise. He became the captain of Verulam Golf Club in St Albans three times.

 A 1932 catalogue. Ryders was bought by the current Suttons Seeds in the 1970s.

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