The unopened biscuit tin, complete with untouched contents, now in the Carr’s factory museum.

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Some months ago Surrey antiques enthusiast and ATG reader Hugh Ruding-Bryan spotted it in a sale at his local auctioneers, Wellers of Chertsey, and successfully bid £25.

When he arrived home he called the Carrs factory in Carlisle to explain his find and was asked to send the tin north for analysis.

A few days later Mr Ruding-Bryan received a call from a very excited managing director of Carrs who - having X-rayed the tin to confirm all its contents were intact - expressed his wish to acquire the tin for the factory's museum.

He could scarcely believe someone had bought this tin during the wartime food rationing and yet had failed to open it.

Apart from offering to pay the auction cost and postage from Surrey, he suggested a donation to Mr Ruding-Bryan's chosen charity, the Children of Chernobyl Life Line, and invited him to the northwest for lunch and a tour of the factory, while his estate car was filled to the brim with around £500 worth of assorted Carrs biscuits.

Some have been sold to friends and business associates but most have been allocated to the children from orphanages in Belarus who the charity provides with holidays in the United Kingdom.

By Roland Arkell