A FOURTH generation family florist is celebrating its 110th anniversary.

Wards the Florist, which is also one of the founder members of national flower delivery service Interflora, was set up in 1903 by William Ward, a market gardener from Cliffe, near Selby.

Mr Ward originally opened a shop in Bishopthorpe Road, York, selling fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Francis Hardwick Ward and his sister Nellie Ward joined the family business after the First World War. Shortly before the Second World War, Francis opened a second shop in Clifford Street, York. Eleanor Ward remained in Bishopthorpe Road until her death in 1958.

Francis then closed the shop in Bishopthorpe Road, but kept the business in Clifford Street.

His nephew, Frank Bough, started working in the business in 1956 following National Service.

At this time the business was still selling fruit, vegetables and flowers, but began to specialise in flowers and gifts in 1973.

David Bough, the current managing partner and the great-great grandson of founder William Ward, started working in the business in 1985 and the firm still trades from its Clifford Street shop and Wardstheflorist.co.uk website.

Mr Bough said: “The changes over the past 110 years have been massive: the huge increase in the variety and quality flowers now available to us throughout the year from all over the world, the dramatic change in consumer buying trends, the increase in online sales, the dependence on digital marketing and social media for sales and brand awareness and the demand for gift accessories such as wine, champagne, chocolates and soft toys.

“Despite all of these changes, our commitment to quality, creativity and customer service has never diminished.”

The company employs six fully-trained florists and one apprentice who is studying for the Floristry Modern Apprenticeship qualification in conjunction with Askham Bryan College.