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Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

 
Colchester Road or Ambrose Garage ( Opposite the Eight Bells Public House)

The garage we see today next door to River House, was originally located adjacent to the Eight Bells Public House opposite in Colchester Road. >>>>>>>





1907/10 George Cousins

1917 Local Directory lists:- E. G. Cousins. motor vehicles for hire
Dick Cousins who also operated a taxi business, delivery of coal and a transport business.

This operated from the side of River House

 

 



Commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the. Reign of H. M. King George V and Queen Mary On Monday, May 6th 1935

Shell petrol pumps now appear by the roadside.

During 1939, this building was burnt down and repairs continued in the workshops at the rear of the pub.

Press Cutting:-
22nd December 1939
Fire at Bures Hamlet, Early on Friday morning a fire broke out at the premises of Mr E G Cousins, motor garage proprietor and licensee of the Eight Bells Hotel, Bures Hamlet.

At this time George Boulton owned the pub and garage

New pump bay constructed selling "Regent" petrol
Left pump:- Regent Regular
Middle pump:- National Benzine
Right pump :- Super

Staff included:-
Bill Moody ( also maintained the village fire pump)
Trevor Riches
Neville Fox
Arthur Kemp

The pump bay was regularly used by residents sheltering from the weather whilst waiting for a Chambers bus.

 

Garage Constructed opposite the Eight Bells and adjacent to River House
Recorded owners of the land :-

1850 - Joseph Hayward

1856 - Joseph Hayward, Blacksmith/Wheelwright

1859 - The Gas Works constructed

The 1876 map opposite show the circular Gas Holder between the Blacksmiths Shop (green) and River House (Blue) >>>

1893 - Charles Alleston ( see River House)

1908 George Pettit
(Charles Alleston wife was nee Pettit)

1920 George Kendall sold Blacksmiths to Charles Deaves
(Charles b1857 d1935)

1928 John and Nancy Goss take over the running of the Coke and Gas from Grimwood

1936 Barry Deaves inherited Blacksmiths with the three blacksmiths cottages

1939 Barry Deaves takes over the liquidation of the Gas and Coke Company

1959 Barry Deaves sold land to Dr J Wallace

1959 - 1966 Archie Hartridge owner of the Eight Bells


1966 - Douglas and Janet Shepherd from Arthur Hartridge
1st Floor extension added
Later t
hey purchased the Doctors Surgery and the associated strip of land to the left of River House
Colin Ambrose employed as Mechanic

1971 -Mr Billota of Tottenham
Peter Barnard was his Manager and lived in the flat above the workshop

19?? Peter Barnard

19?? Agricultural Spraying Company based at Bakers Hall

1983 Colin Ambrose

 

The current "Colchester Road Garage" stands on the site previously occupied by the Bures Gas Works
Possibly moved to this site during 1958

Local builders who worked for Barry Deaves (opposite) constructed the site,
which included David Vango, George Springett and Peter Norris in addition to the mechanics working in the garage opposite

However, during 1950`s, both garages were in operation either side of the road and operated by George Boulton

The original garage beside the Eight Bells closed down possibly during 1959/60, as Arthur Hartridge
was the recorded owner during that year

The new garage possibly started trading around 1960/1 after building works had been completed

Mechanics included:
Terry Weavers
Trevor Riches
Ernie Ford
Colin Ambrose

Circa 1960 -1965
Three Rolls Royce`s in for repair


Photograph courtesy of George Warden

Flooding, date unknown>>

It wasn`t always the River Stour that overflowed,


In the 1970`s the brook in Water Lane overflowed,
with water running down Station Hill to the Essex Knoll.
This would bring the road traffic to a halt.

Flooding was a common occurrence until the 70/80s

------------------------------------------

Extract from WI History of Bures 1951
The river, which was the lifeblood of the village, could be a
source of great hardship in wet winters. There have been some terrible floods.
The mother of one member, who lived on the low part of the Colchester Road, used to make sure of having in a
stock of bread, and then made tea, and the daughter had a boat in the street. With the aid of a man named Lester, and the use of a pitchfork she maneuvered the boat so that he could hand-the tea in cans and the bread to the people who were obliged to be
upstairs until the flood went down from their lower rooms. One house in particular was very dangerous to get at, owing to being so close to the river and the swiftness of the current.
A clothes line was tied to the handles of the cottage doors, so that those in the boat could pull themselves hack in case of emergency.


 

Flooding on Thursday 19th Sept 1968 >>


In 1983, Colin Ambrose and his wife Pam took over the ownership, servicing motor vehicles as well as selling fuel and groceries.

During Dec 2005 Colin decided it was time to sell the property and find smaller premises.
This also resulted in the "His and Hers Hairstylist" which was located in a small white office to the right ( see photos below) having to re-locate.

Colin relocated his business to a unit at Fysh House Farm and the Hairdresser became mobile.

Circa mid 2005, trading as "C Ambrose Motors"

 

UPDATE March 06 - with it now sold, informal discussions have taken place with the Parish Council about turning this property into a retail outlet.
Co-operative store rumoured

( 2015 update, the Co-operative offer was never progressed)

 

   
Circa 2006
Circa 2007:- site still as the earlier photograph taken January 2006.

   

Summer 2011, the site is still vacant and for a few months during summer and autumn a Car Wash appeared operated by a group of Eastern Europeans.
Closed down Oct 2011, then a few months later it re-appeared again ?

Mid Summer 2014, Car wash closed down

 

Mid 2014, Co-operative once again contacted to see if they would build a store on this site.
Although they viewed the area, no response was forthcoming

.

   
January 2015 :- Property still unoccupied
April 2015:- site now cleared of debris

This vacant site has now stood empty for nearly ten years with various interested parties looking at the site ?
Allegedly planning problems would appear to be:-
(a) High concentration of chemicals such as arsenic in the ground, as a result of the Gas Works
(b) Allegedly, fuel tanks still buried under forecourt which would have to be removed
(c) Retail outlets such as a small supermarket has lack of off road parking

(d) risk of flooding from the river at the rear.

Currently the site owner resides at Chelmsford


Biography of Bill Moody, kindly donated by Sue Young, her Grandparents. Bill was a mechanic at the original garage next door to the Eight Bells

The BBC 'Down your way' radio programme came to Bures during the war? I have a letter to my grandfather Bill Moody, for a small payment for his interview as part of the programme.
On a visit to my uncle Geoff Moody recently he told me that his mother trained to drive the village ambulance, which was a converted chambers bus.
My grandmother , Dorothy Moody( in the village ladies cricket team photo) and the WVS ran a soup kitchen at night throughout the war for air raid wardens, the home guard etc. grandad kept the village fire engine going, he was the local agricultural engineer.
At end of the war the village gave my grandparents a silver biscuit barrel engraved with a message of thanks for all they did to support the village.


Ownershop of Garage Land taken from the Deeds of River House
The deeds were written using legal terminogy which I found difficult to comprehend
This list is the best I could decipher:
-

Also thanks to Val and Geoff Moody ( Bills son) for their valuable contribution to this page.
Thanks to George Warden for local information

Updated 13/01/2015

Thanks to Derek Matthew for the loan of his documents
Updated 24/02/2015

Thanks to Douglas and Janet Shepherd in Australia for their information
Updated 30/03/2015