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SmallBridge Hall:- Pont Data

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Greg Moore lived at Smallbridge, with his wife Libby and his two daughters Sasha and Anna

Background History

Greg Moore, an Australian entrepreneur, founded Bridge International (later renamed Pont Data Company) in 1980, recognizing a niche in the small but growing financial data distribution business

He struck a deal with Charles Lebens, the chairman of St Louis-based Bridge Information Systems, that allowed Moore to develop an international service for Bridge, using existing Bridge software. The product that Moore and his Bridge International team developed became the standard for the dissemination of Australian company and securities price information, historical data, and local financial news.

In 1983 Greg Moore went to London to build a UK arm, constructing a computer centre in Bures, Suffolk and eventually spreading his operations to continental Europe. Bridge International quickly won adherents: one particular feature of the system that in its day had no peer was its ability to report completed trades almost immediately after execution.

The agreement between the two companies was finally dissolved amid much acrimony in 1987. Moore renamed his company Pont.

By 1991, despite the proven attraction of the product, particularly in providing information on smaller markets, the company was in dire financial straits.
Moore, for all his savvy, stopped paying his bills somewhere along the way and eventually lost effective control of the company. By mid 1991, rising costs led him to borrow heavily from the Kuwaiti Investment Office (one source puts the figure at $40 million), which was familiar with the Pont product as a client. The KIO took effective control of Pont in the fall of 1991, and Moore then returned to Sydney.

Finally, Pont Data finally went into administration in 1992

Source:- 1998 Asset International, Inc

****:- the article states that Moore returned to Sydney in 1991, but from records he was the owner of Smallbridge until 2000
Allegedly, Greg may have returned to Australia leaving behind his wife and two daughters until the children finished their schooling

Bridge International and Pont Data Timeline

One thing that I could never figure out, why did Greg Moore choose a remote rural village and an empty butchers shop in rural Suffolk to launch his UK business ?

Bridge International :- Purchased the redundant Butchers Shop, High Street Bures circa 1986
(was the name derived from Bridge Street a few yards away in Bures?)

"Bridge International" was an IT firm specialising in supplying online information to the finance industry

Pont Data:- Smallbridge Hall, - circa 1985 - 1987

Pont Data, Westwood Park:- circa 1987 -1992
Filed for Administration 1992


Taken from Watersinfo.com re Charles Lebens

Due to its rapid growth, Bridge International soon outgrew these premises and moved down to Smallbridge Hall (later to Westwood Park) under the name of Pont Data

Left: Westwood Park, West Bergholt

Company records indicate Pont was founded in 1985
Company records do not show who were the board members at this time, but in 1987 Gregory Moore was listed as a Director.

Pont Data Inc. filed as a Domestic Corporation in the State of Nevada on Monday, October 12, 1987.
1995:- This corporation is no longer active according to documents filed with Nevada Secretary of State and is listed as Merge Dissolved.

Gregory Phillips Moore was listed as the President of Pont Data Inc and registered in Illinois, USA.

Pont Data also had a registered address in the UK at 6 City Road, Finsbury Sq, London during ??

<<<<< During 1988 Greg Moore was requesting a listing on the Australian Bourse for Pont Data

During the late 1980`s Smallbridge was the IT centre for Pont Data in the UK with several employees.
One of these data services was to receive live information from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and distribute that to other interested parties such as Ceefax, Teletext and stockbrokers.
With BBC now displaying virtually live stock information from the LSE, this was a vast improvement for the private investor who either had to phone a stockbroker or wait for the next days newspapers to carry this information.

With so much data being handled by Smallbridge, this became a problem for BT.
This was well before the days of broadband and external fibre optic, consequently BT had to lay a new copper cable from its telephone exchange in Bures along the rural roads to provide more cable capacity to Smallbridge at an enormous cost.

BT and Pont Data signed a formal agreement that any data faults on the BT plant would be cleared within a 4 hour time scale - this was virtually impossible to achieve with Bures and Smallbridge in such rural locations.
It wasn`t unusual for an engineer to attend in the early hours, to clear line faults.

I recall I was called-out at 0600hrs in the late 80`s because of a catastrophic Data failure at Smallbridge,
On arrival I found nobody on the premises, however I had access to a key to gain entry to the Data Centre.
To my horror, I found all of the equipment had been switched of and Gregg Moors office was bare.
It appeared that Gregg had moved out of Smallbridge overnight, leaving his staff bewildered what to do next.
As the failure was not in my remit, I departed and returned home.

Waterstechnology.com:- April 5th 1990

Waterstechnology.com: Feb 1992

Finally Pont Data went into administration, circa 1992

Smallbridge was still owned by Greg Moore until 2000 when it was sold


Additional notes:-
During the 1980`s I was a BT Engineer looking after data links for large companies to the north of Colchester.
Unfortunately for me living in Bures, I was nominated to maintain Greg Moores Data and Comm links 24/7

Smallbridge Hall

Smallbridge is located approximately 2.5 miles out of the village along the Nayland Rd. The former owners only required one or two telephone lines so the cabling to the Hall was minimal
There was no Fibre in those days, so all data was transmitted over standard copper wire. It was not uncommon to bunch pairs together to reduce the losses(impedance/resistance) in order to get a slight speed increase
The demand for data links was so enormous, that BT was requested by Greg Moore install a larger capacity cable which would run from the telephone exchange in the centre of Bures all the way out to the Hall.

This was quite a challenge as the ductwork layed in the footpath only runs as far as Claypits Avenue a distance of about 500 metres.
That was the easy part and could be accomplished in a day or two.

This meant the remainder of the route some 2km, entailed manually digging up the carriageway/ grass verge in order to bury the cable. This contract took several weeks and cost tens of thousands of pounds in labour and materials.
Today in 2015, evidence of this work is clearly visible along the verge at Clickets Hill where the grass verge has eroded, exposing the cable to the elements.
There is no evidence of any pipe/duct being layed at this point so I can only assume the cable was just buried in the ground
It was then terminated in one of the stable block buildings to the right, as you drive down the access road into Smallbridge.
Another cable was then layed in ductwork under the driveway and lawn into the main building

Westwood Park

Because of its remoteness from the nearest telephone exchange, there was no suitable underground cable with sufficient capacity to feed the enormous amount of data being processed.
BT erected a microwave mast on the telephone exchange at Marks Tey which transmitted data to a similar mast at Fordham Telephone Exchange.
This in turn was relayed by a dish to a mast at Westwood Park
These exchanges were chosen because at Marks Tey it could intercept the Colchester to London data and telephone traffic.
Fordham exchange had a clear line site (essential for microwave transmission) to Marks Tey and in the other direction to Westwood Park.

Unfortunately this link turned out to be totally unreliable in the rain, as nobody took account of a woodland surrounding Westwood Park which degraded the signal.
Ok in the fine sunny weather, but a drizzle of rain the signal collapsed

Several trees were cut down, in the attempt to resolve the problem, but it was a lost cause.

To provide this microwave/data link from Marks Tey to Fordham then onward to Westwood park, must have cost BT tens of thousands of pounds.
I have no idea how Pont Data coped with such an unreliable link, as it was too far away from Gt Horkesley telephone exchange to lay any
additional capacity underground cabling
In 2015 the mast (not the dish) was still standing abandoned at the side of Fordham Telephone exchange

Allegedly when Pont went into administration, BT had received no payment for their external work


Page 2:- Pont Data Photographs

Updated 12/04/2015
Updated 03/06/2018
Greg Photo courtesy of Christine Burls 01/10/2023