Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


The BoatHouse


Local Ginger Beer Dispensers
(Research by the Trent Valley Bottle Club)

The early ginger beer incised J. Row, Confectioner, Bures.
The size is approximately 7" high

This bottle is owned by retired butcher, George Warden
who lives in Bures.

Jephthah Row was born in 1846 at Dicklebrough, Suffolk.
The census of 1861 lists him as an Apprentice Baker to a Mr Edward Chipperfield, London Road, Lowestoft.
By 1871 Jephthah was married to Phoebe and the census of that year records him as a Confectioner and Baker in Bournemouth.

The 1881 census lists Jephthah and his wife at No 6 Bridge Street, Bures with three children.

No6 has long been demolished, but it would have been one of the middle two properties on the right.

Looking at where the children were born suggests the family came to Bures in 1877.

His wife, Phoebe, died in 1885 and by September 1886 he had remarried to Jane Amelia Patten at Lexden in Essex,

Again looking at the census records of 1891 Jephthah and his new wife were living in Ashbourne in Derbyshire, having had three more children, this indicated they had been in Ashbourne district for around two years, their first child was born at Clacton on Sea in 1888, around a year and a half after they were married.

The last child to be born in Bures was a daughter called Jessie, indicating the bottle would date from between 1877 and 1884.
The census of 1901 records Jephthah as a Fish Merchant at Colchester so by this time he had probably returned to the home of his second wife

Ginger Beer Dispenser distributed by Tom Clarke
Dispenser measures 20.5 inches tall by 7.5 inches wid

Acknowledgment to John Manning for the loan of these pictures .
John who now lives in Holmforth, Yorkshire visited Bures in June 2012 which gave me an opportunity to view this magnificent dispenser.

John Manning who lived during the early part of his life in Bures, is pictured here with a large Ginger Beer Dispenser engraved "T, Clarke" which he purchased from an auction for £190.
On the base, it`s embossed as manufactured by "Doulton, Lambeth"

There were three recorded Thomas Clarke's, two of which could be possibilities. There was a Thomas Clarke born in 1859, he was a carpenter and remained single throughout his life and was still listed in Bures in 1911.
One of the problems I encountered searching the census records was the way the surname Clarke was recorded, sometimes it had an "e" and other times it didn't.

The most likely candidate was a Thomas Clarke born in 1889, this man had various occupations and appears listed in the census as a tanner, a farmer and farm labourer.

He was married to Sarah Clarke, they had seven children, one of whom was also called Thomas. He appears in several census records: 1881, 1891 and 1901, his occupation in the 1901 census is given as a J ourneyman/ Baker. He was visiting a family called the Snowder's in Colchester, I can see no connection here. I could find no record of him in the 1911 census, there were lots of Thomas Clarke's or Clark's.

Thomas Clarke senior and his wife, Sarah, were both listed as pensioners in the 1911 census, they were both in their early 70's by this time. However in the trade directories from 1906 Thomas was listed as a pleasure boat proprietor and was succeeded by his wife following in his death in March 1918, aged 75. The last reference I found to Sarah Clarke was in 1917, l believe she died in 1920 aged 80.
These would seem the most likely candidates for the bulk ginger beer dispenser.

Barbara & Willie Amos behind the counter at "The Eight Bells" admiring the Dispenser.

Acknowledgment to John Manning for allowing me to photograph the dispenser
Jack Feast, Chairman of the Trent Valley Bottle Club for allowing me to publish his research material.