Hundreds of original documents including seven signed letters from wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, written in the 1940s, have been unearthed during Worcester City Council's spring clean.
The collection, dating from 1947 to 1949, was found in a filing cabinet at Worcester's Guildhall and is thought to have lain undisturbed for more than 60 years.
Offering an insight into the public's regard for Churchill in the years after the Second World War, the documents detail how he was first offered the Freedom of Worcester in 1945, the year the war ended.
Uncovered during the reorganisation of a manager's office, the find also charts arrangements for the ceremony and luncheon which saw Churchill visit Worcester to receive the honour in May 1950.
Worcester City Council's historic environment record officer, Sheena Payne-Lunn, said: "What is so remarkable is just how much detail is contained within the collection - it is such a colourful reminder of the impact Churchill had on our nation during its darkest hour, and of the outpouring of public gratitude that he received in the years after World War II.
"The fact that Sir Winston ever visited the city is really a testament to the dogged determination of successive mayors of the city at a time when he was very much in demand.
"The letters didn't stop until we finally got our visit!"
In a letter penned by the then Mr Churchill to Worcester's mayor on November 19, 1949, the former war leader, who headed the Opposition at that stage, apologised for being unable to fix a date due to the uncertainty of the political situation.
"I am constantly bearing it in mind however, and will write to you again should an opportunity occur," he wrote.
The documents, which are now securely stored, will go on display in Worcester City Museum in Foregate Street this year.