Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

The Telephone in Bures


It was reported in the "Suffolk and Essex Free Press" the First Telephone Exchange opened in the village circa 8th March 1922.
The location was in the Post Office at Church Square
Early (circa 1930) allocated numbers were as follows:-

Mr E. Radford.(Postmaster & Call Office)....No1
The Hon Mrs J Stirling ......No2

Gordon Drak, Butchers.... No3
George Hume, Bures Hall.....No4
Brand & Sons.... No5
Deaves Builders/Gas & Coke Co Ltd.....  No6
David Griffith Physician..... No7
Church`s Seeds..... No8
C Hitchcock. Miller.....No9
E. Cousins/Eight Bells/Car repairs....  No10
H. C. Chambers
, Coal Merchants ...No11
George Barron, Farmer ....No12
E Webber/Farmer....No13
Webb and Packe/General Agents..... No14
Hon H. R. Balfour ....No15

J. R. H.Probert....No16
E. Tufnull....No17
M. C.Hitchcock....No18
E. Pennefalter.....No19

G Scoones/High Pale..... No20
Melso Dyers/Factory..... No21
E Carter/Angel Inn..... No22
S. J. Tufnell...No23
R. Bugg/Fruit Growers....No24
Dr Thomas Wood.....No25
Gosvenor Berry/Farmer.....No26
F Pilmott/Farmer....No27
H. M. Miller.....No28
A. Laurie, Butlers Farm.....No29
W.B. Goddard.....No30
Miss M. Woodhouse....No31


Sorting Office

The General Stores and Post Office owned by Mr Radford in Church Square was the location of the first manually operated telephone exchange.
It opened during 1922 and closed in 1939
The Telephone Directory issued in 1924 listed 25 subscribers.

Mechanical Strowger Telephone Exchange (UAX13)opened on 2nd March 1939 located in Colchester Rd.
The initial number of subscribers on changeover was 98.
30.09.1944 listed 110 subscribers
30.06.1948 listed 166 subscribers
09.12.1965 listed 350 subscribers
20.07.1972 listed 593 subscribers
01.02.1977 (closure) listed 657 subscribers

Currently used as a sorting office by the Royal Mail.

October 1957, the Post Office agreed to install a "Sanitary Annexe"
This was quite unusual for a remote UAX to have toliet facilities


Current Telephone Exchange located in Nayland Road.
Entrance road runs alongside the front of the Horseshoes Public House

Typical uniform "H" type Telephone Exchange building.
You can see identical buildings at Nayland, Fordham, Earls Colne, Boxford, Gt Horkesley Coggeshall etc

Plans were drawn up for this building in 1973 and 1974
It was a long drawn out procedure to purchase the land and get quotations

It finally opened the 1st February 1977 with 657 subscribers.
All existing 3 figure numbers were prefixed with 227 and 4 figures numbers with 22.
At that time of opening, it had a capacity to connect 1000 subscribers.
In the 1980`s numbers were running out and new subscribers started with 228

Bures is parented onto Sudbury Exchange, Newton Rd.

Kingsbury & Sons of Boxford were awarded the work
They were not the lowest price, but midway at £59,491.
Strange why Pilgrim Builders, Bures never tendered for the work

July 2014
Exchange currently has 1213 residential and 63 business customers

Information Courtesy of British Telecom Archives
Updated 07.06,2022
Updated with Tender doc 27/10/2022