SHAREHOLDERS of a 113-year-old co-operative formed for the Vale of Evesham are being encouraged to come forward and claim their stakes.

Littleton & Badsey Growers was originally set up in 1908 by a number of market gardeners in the area to form a co-operative society to do the buying and selling of their produce.

In 2001, the society demutualised with the members then becoming shareholders of a newly incorporated limited company.

Today it trades under the name of BHGS but it remains a major distributor to the horticultural industry locally and nationally. The main business operates from Vale Park in Evesham but there are also depots in Chichester, West Sussex and Hayle in Cornwall.

Nigel Letherbarrow, company secretary and finance director, wants those who may have shares to come forward and claim what is theirs – including potential dividends.

“We know that some of our shareholders have moved house and have probably forgotten to inform us,” said Mr Letherbarrow.

“Others may have sadly passed away and their surviving family members may have not have known about the existence of the shares but we would love to establish contact with them again, or their families.

“It would certainly be in their interest because, in effect, they are owners of our company and could be missing out on annual dividends etc.

“There are probably as many as 100 missing shareholders which we have lost contact with over the years, mostly local to the Evesham area.”

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