Our History

We will serve you as well as we are able – 1904

GrandfatherMy grandfather, the late John Watson, entered the seed trade a century ago when he joined a recently formed agricultural merchants by the name of McGill and Smith in Ayr on the West Coast of Scotland.  

He quickly developed a talent for plant breeding and by the 1930’s was breeding good varieties in a range of crops including potatoes, oats and of course grasses.

(Johnny’s Grandfather with his potatoes right and below with farmers in trial plots in 1928) 


My father and his two brothers, Jim and Billy, joined the firm and all went on to have a lifetime in the trade across the UK as the business grew from strength to strength.


(Johnny’s Father, John Watson in 1958)


 (Johnny’s Uncle, Jim Watson in 1995)

McGill & Smith was taken over by the Sinclair family seed business from Boston in Lincolnshire, and they all continued to be involved in the business in some form or other as Sinclair McGill, but major changes in the business and the subsequent sale to I.C.I. changed the nature and philosophy of the company.

I joined the Sinclair McGill business and travelled on farm from the Cotswolds to Galloway, Caithness and finally the Borders.


(Johnny in a field of stubble turnips at North Aston Farms in Banbury, Oxfordshire in 1978)

The I.C.I. acquisition brought a lot of changes to the business and after a number of years based in Cambridge, I took the decision to leave I.C.I. Seeds and head home to Scotland to establish my own business focused on the customer with personal service and sound advice.


(Johnny with the late John Spence, Roberthill, Lockerbie in 1983)

Now 25 years on we have established our business as a leading player in the market still always mindful of the old motto We will serve you as well as we are able.


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