Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

Why the Web Site
( Now in its 20th year)

The site ( incorporating Hamlet, St Mary and Mount Bures )was conceived in November 2001 when I was on long term leave from work after recuperating from Pneumonia
It then just covered two of my interests, namely the river and railway.
This rapidly expanded within weeks, as suggestions came in that I should cover other interesting aspects of the community associated with these two subjects.

At the same time, I launched a web site for Bures Primary School all written by html coding. Although very basic it was the first school if Suffolk to have its own web site.
I then went on to launch sites at Nayland Primary and Monks Eleigh Primary Schools

It was very disconcerting to see how the village was changing over the years, with the loss of many historical buildings, the Maltings, Tannery etc. Although there are many photographs around in personal collections, nobody had assembled all this information for easy free access. The technology of the Internet at the time, seemed to be the ideal way of documenting the village history for all to see.

From the response received, it soon became apparent that our local residents have moved away to all parts of the earth, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, Switzerland and even Honolulu !

The site only concerns itself with historical facts from approx 1880 (Victoriana) to the present day, so it does not encroach on the work of the Local History Society.

However, due to it`s phenomenal expansion, the Mount Bures information was transferred in November 2006 to its own dedicated domain at "www.mount-bures.co.uk"

Today (2020) this local site has expanded to list over 200 subjects, amounting to 523 web pages covering the two parishes of Bures Hamlet and Bures St Mary.

Since starting, the site has been updated literally hundreds of times as new or revised information arrives. For example, the One Bell PH page has been the subject of at least ten revisions.
The entire site has been re-launched with a new format on five separate occasions.

Now after 19 years, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of new material that is donated. I assumed after a few years from the launch this would dwindle away to nothing, but as the news of the web site spreads more and more people get in contact.

Work is carried out on the site daily, checking incoming messages, posting news and when time permits, visiting people and places around the area to seek out and verify new information.
Just replying to these emails and updating or amending the site, invariably amounts to a couple of hours per day.
Equate this over a 15 year period and the time spent maintaining the site is considerable, a minimum of 10,000 hrs

This does not included journeys to the Record Offices and private visits to gain or verify information for the site.

We of course, have the normal selection of oddball requests, such as "Can you put me in touch with someone who collects milk bottle tops" and "can you put some flowers on my mothers grave, if I send you the money"
Another came from a distant WI, who wanted me to "entertain a coach trip for their ladies in my garden, complete with cream teas !"

**Sadly we can no longer undertake genealogy requests. These requests if allowed, would make up the vast majority of incoming emails and the research work must take precedence over everything else.
Please use the on-line Forum page, this invariably will bring you an answer

The "Dept of Education and Skills" funded the running of the web site up to September 2004.
"Bures-online" won a Regional Award in 2003/4 competing against other organisations throughout Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Bures-online has been featured in the Halstead Gazette, Evening Gazette, East Anglian Daily Times, Suffolk Free Press and many other local colour magazines.
We have also supplied photographs to BBC and Anglia TV at Norwich.
Further afield, a publisher in New York during 2018, requested photographs of the Bures Dragon which were to be used in one of their world wide publications.

During the Spring of 2006, I carried out work for an independent television company for the popular TV series, "Who do you think you are"
Barbara Windsor was the subject of this program, her father William Deeks was a local bricklayer.
This uncovered links with John Constable (the artist) and property the Constable family owned in Bures Hamlet and Mount Bures.

The web site archive now stores in excess of 3,000+ photographs together with well over 2,500+ scanned documents which have been donated or purchased over the years.
For example:
(a) Mr Creeks ( 1940`s Head Teacher at the School) daughter, loaned over 600 documents which were scanned before they were destined for the Records Office. These covered life at the school during the war years in Bures, a really exciting gift.

(b) On another occasion, a gentleman who was on a business trip in the UK from Florida, who made a special trip to Bures to donate his fathers Home Guard wartime memorabilia.
The visit lasted only 5 minutes, as he had a taxi waiting outside to whisk him to Heathrow.

(c) During 2012, Peggy Richards donated the entire collection of 1500 x 35mm slides which her late husband Peter has taken over the years

(d) Again in 2014, Olwyn Titchmarsh, a local distinguished artist donated her collection of 450 x 35mm slides, again taken around the village

(e) During 2016, I arranged visits to the village for two families from the USA, One was researching their family heritage, whils`t the other was researching a book they were writing on the Local Pelham family
Again in 2017, I arranged two other visits to the village, one from California and the other from Oregon
In 2018 and 2019, more visits from Boston, Newsey and Arizona
Quite a complex situation, arranging transport from Stansted or by rail from London, together with refreshments and visits to local properties.

(f) During 2020, Bill Tathum of White Colne donated to me his mothers slide collection of Mount Bures & Bures,
They dated from 1916 until mid 1978, totalling nearly 600 images.

Although the web site is quite large, it represents only a small proportion of the research work carried out.
With the site getting even more complex with expanding subjects, the section concerning the "War Years" in Bures has been moved to another web site (www.bures.me.uk)

Although you view these pages without charge, nothing in this world is really free.
Unfortunately, the site has no source of income
and consequently with each year, the running costs steadily increase.

Sadly 99% of the enquiries I receive, arrive from outside the village. Even to this day and after 20 years on-line, I still meet people in the village who didn't know it had its own web site.
I find that rather disturbing.

Lastly don't forget this is a Community Web Site, run by the community for the enjoyment of those who visit the site. The information has come from literally hundreds of people who have taken the time to submit their memories and wish to record village life for others to enjoy reading.
Because some events may be decades old, it`s not always possible to verify every single fact, but we do our very best.

It is not the product of one single person, but from a multitude of interested parties.


Web site and all contents © Copyright:- 2001 > Present day see legal notice
updated 15.05.2020