Norfolk company which supplied the Queen's lawn seed goes out of business
Copyright: Archant 2018
A Norfolk company which supplied the Royal household at Sandringham for 40 years has gone out of business.
Family-owned Norfolk Seeds was founded by Gordon Fletcher in 1970 in Fakenham, where he and his son Robert mixed seed deliveries for Sandringham on the floor of the family garage.
But since the death of his father 2016, Robert Fletcher said the company had struggled to make it through the lean winter months when demand for its products fell away.
He admitted the firm, which until this year did not have a website, and had traded since its foundation without a computer, had been overtaken by the pace of change in the industry.
“I had tried for the last few months to find someone to take over the business,” he said. “It just needed that little injection of cash to get us through. When it gets to this time of year, I won’t really sell anything again until next March or April.
“I would have loved to have kept it going but there are just too many quiet months.”
The company had supplied Sandringham with seed for its lawns and game crops since being awarded the Royal Warrant in 1978, and had clients across Norfolk and beyond.
Gordon Fletcher was also well known as former president of the Sandringham Flower Show, and the family was given permission to hold his funeral at the church on the Queen’s estate after he died in July 2016.
Having worked alongside his father for more than 30 years to build the business’s reputation, Robert Fletcher, 53, said that calling time on it had been “a difficult decision”.
“Dad was so proud of doing so well in the seed trade. I had dad’s good name, but it’s hard to be on your own,” he said.
“A different company with some new ideas could have kept it going, but it needed more than me.”
Insolvency experts from Norwich-based Leading Corporate Recovery were called in in September to liquidate the company. They said creditors were likely to lose out on £90,000 from the company’s failure.
Mr Fletcher is now hoping to use his 33 years of expertise in a new role as a consultant, and hopes to work again with some of his former customers.