When Walter Burder and Adolphus Bumpus purchased the company, probably more important than the order books, men, works, stock etc., were the intellectual property rights to Thomas Messenger’s designs and patents. These, albeit with incremental improvements, were used by the firm over the ensuing seventy years. Whilst they improved the iron muntins and incorporated updated window opening systems during the 1880s. and 1890s, they couldn’t improve on the iron tension framing, with lighter and thinner timber framing, as developed and patented by Thomas Messenger.
During its lifetime, the firm produced several thousand horticultural structures, ranging from simple 8ft. x 6ft. greenhouses, through practically every mixture and type of structure up to those over 100ft. in length. Not only did they build bespoke structures, they also produced range “off-the-shelf” designs, covering almost every requirement. They also produced an array of standard products, such as span houses and lean-to’s that came in set lengths, known as sections. Again these could be fitted out to meet the customer’s specific requirements, whether it be heating system, staging, fountains, hanging baskets, tiling, shelving or wiring.
The firm’s customers came from all walks of life from the aristocracy downwards and from all parts of the UK and abroad. They sent structures as far afield as Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, India, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Turkey.
A number of their horticultural structures are still extant today, albeit some are just shells and in a forlorn state, whilst others are still in use, although almost none of the earlier structures have their original timber.