AN office refurbishment has unearthed a rare find.

Amongst the decades of old files and paperwork, staff at Scrutton Bland financial specialists based in The Crescent, Colcheter, discovered a rare, archival magazine cutting of the 1904 Colchester Oyster Feast.

The page, still in its original frame, depicts a series of sketches of people attending the feast, accompanied by witty captions.

The image contains several prominent figures from the time including members of the army as well as politicians and legal figures.

The sketch was created by Ralph Cleaver, a famous artist and political cartoonist from the time, whose work appeared in magazines and periodicals.

Mr Cleaver’s work had appeared in several notable publications, such as The Sketch, the Pall Mall Gazette and The Illustrated London News.

The annual Oyster Feast, which is held on every October, remains an important part of Colchester's history.

Dan Bligh, managing director of Scrutton Bland Insurance Brokers Ltd, said: “We were somewhat perplexed when we found the framed cutting.

"The Colchester part of Scrutton Bland was founded in 1919 so the cutting obviously pre-dates that and nobody could recall any connection it might have had with the previous directors, partners or staff in the firm.

“We decided that the best home for it was to entrust it to the care of Colchester Museums, as they have such a wealth of material relating to the history of Colchester.”

The cutting was handed over to Philip Wise, heritage manager at Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service.

Mr Wise said: “We do have some Oyster Feast programmes and photographs in our collections, but this cutting is something new.

“It features some prominent figures of the day from politics, the army and the law as well as humorous scenes. We are pleased to accept this donation from Scrutton Bland.”