the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet
Other local characters:-
Bures has always had a good crop of what
one might call "characters" from the time.
One was Luggar" the village
crier, who was paid one shilling for going all round the village crying
events. He was a drover and a cripple, with a wooden leg and a hooked
One of my friends grandfather went away to London for a week and when
he came back and heard the village gossip, he hired the crier and sent
him round to say he had not left his wife and had no intention of doing
Then there was poor old Bill Bradley
who claimed to have read the bible from beginning to end. He was as
clean as a new pin and used to walk miles and miles to the outlying
selling cakes and tarts.
Another village worthy was fiddler Brey, the blind man who by
trade was a rush basket maker. He collected his own rushes by the river
and kind friends would tie a rope round his waist so that he could be
pulled in if he ventured too far.
He was an accomplished violinist.
There were many, many others, so many that this history would never
end if we put them all in. But we hope there is enough here to show
that Bures has always been an interesting and a happy village. May it
continue to flourish.
Extract from the History of Bures
by F Sillitoe & Sons, 1951
Ezra Anderson of
St Edmunds Lane, another village character who could tell you many tales.
I recall one day outside my house in Friends Field, a hot air balloon
was flying so low above us that it was nearly touching the overhead
electricity cables. Any collision could have been disastrous as they
were 11Kv lines
Ezra was looking up at the balloon gesticulating with his arms giving
the pilot his expert advice in rather colourful language.
Fortunately with a raw of a gas burner it gradually lifted into the
air, but it must have cleared the power lines by as little as 3ft
Another time he told me was worked along the Nayland Road when the village
was being connected the the new sewage works near Clickett Hill.
Ezra during one day collected drums of petrol from The Colchester Road
Garage for use with the heavy machinery they were using.
It was stored and locked in a small wooden hut at the end of Claypits
When they opened up the hut the following morning, all the drums of
fuel had mysteriously disappeared.
Now as Ezra was the only key holder, how someone accessed the hut during
the night remained a mystery ?
Ezra`s fundemental flaw, was that he locked the shed up after removing
the fuel, It would have been better to have left the door open
Only a key holder could have locked it up again, but somehow Ezra got
away with it.
Ezra passed away circa 2010
Sam Game and Bill Mattocks
Behind the Eight Bells Garage main workshop, stood a hut which was used
to keep vehicle spare parts.
When this became redundant, Bill Mattocks decided he could make
better use of it on the Allotment's along Lamarsh Hill
Sam Game was the local carrier
from Cornard, who was hired to move this shed.
Sam reverses his small lorry into the yard, jacks up the shed and suspended
it on the buck of the lorry.
To assist in this move, Sam enlists the help of Bill Mattocks who was
an ex army man.
The dimensions of the shed far exceeded those of the lorry, so it overhung
the sides as well as the rear.
Sam waited for a Sunday morning when all would be quite, with few prying
With this very precarious and insecure load they turned in Station Hill
, but their main concern was to avoid the Police House along Station
They successfully maneuvered their diversionary route via Water Lane,
under the railway Bridge and up Lamarsh Hill just as a Police car was
coming down, meeting them head-on
Questions remains unanswered - "what happened next and was it a
legal move" ?
Courtesy of John Cowlin, Mount Bures