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
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
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
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
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.
(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)
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.
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.
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.