Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

Coffee Tavern arrives in Bures 1882.


























In an attempt to get the working classes out of the Public Houses,
a Coffee Tavern was opened in Church Square.
It was run by a Committee of the local gentry with the Vicar as Chairman.
Benjamin Simpson, farmer and owner leased the property for a period of 14 years

One of the main contributors to this new venture was Herbert Turner from the Tannery.

The Newspaper cutting below, refers to "taking over the premises from a Tailor"
In the 1874 Census there was a George Cook, Tailor trading in Bures St Mary
However by 1884 George was no longer listed, and replaced by The Coffee Tavern

The cutting also refers to a Mr Wanford, Builder of Sudbury who constructed the premises
This is an extract from the Sudbury 1884 Census

The two people are standing outside the Coffee Tavern & Club Rooms.
The lady in the doorway was most likely Mrs Maria Howlett who was listed as the Manageress in 1883.
Mrs Louis Frost was listed as Manageress in 1888
See also:- http://www.bures-online.co.uk/architect/Church5.htm

The Tavern appears in Kelly`s 1882 and 1892 Trade Directory but not in either Kelly`s or Whites 1900 editions
So we can assume it traded for a minimum of ten years (1882 to 1892)

The History of Coffee Taverns in the UK

According to this web site: "By 1886 only a few Coffee Taverns were left and those that were still open were bare of customers"
So launching our local Coffee Tavern was going against the trend of declining sales and customers.

In 1887 the Commercial Greene King Brewery started to supply properly managed "Inns"
and brought some form of standardisation in brewing quality
and hygiene to the drinking community.

Perhaps with the "Inns" now coming under more stringent regulations, did this have some detrimental effect on the Coffee Taverns ?
This certainly caused a downturn in the amount of alcohol consumed from Brew Houses, run from dubious private homes.

The Essex Standard, West Suffolk Gazette and Eastern Counties Advertiser
Saturday March 11th 1882

Research by Alan Beales 01/03/2017
updated 10/11/2022