Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

©The Dairy



The Dairy was located along the Nayland Road, to the right of the One Bell PH

pub pic
Vehicle on right opposite The Dairy
Nayland Road in 2003.
The Dairy would have been situated on left side where the white wooden fence now stands.


1900:- This building formed part of the One Bell PH and would have been used for many years as a storage area.

The earliest anyone can recollect, this part of the building was used as a pig Slaughter House in the early 1900`s


1920s:- Around the early 1920`s, it was used as a wet fish shop opening just two days a week.
Arthur Beaumont can recall, delivering fish to local residents. It was owned by a Mrs Clampin, who lived at Staunch Farm, she later moved into one of the cottages behind the PH.
Another local resident can recall it at later date, as a "Sweet" shop owned by a Mrs Lunnis..

The Dairy came sometime after 1920, opened by Walter Hume. The premises were nothing more than a storage facility, where milk would arrive from the local farm and later, delivered around the village.

The supply of milk was obtained from Bures Hall Farm (near to Bures Mill), which was then owned by the Probert family. Goldie Hume rented out a portion of land for his herd of cows. Sometime later, Gordon Drake Snr took over the tenancy and continued to supply the milk to the Dairy.
Douglas Hume (Walters son) who still lives in Colchester Rd, can recall going up to the Hall and collecting the milk.

Many other people such as Brands in the High Street had their own (perhaps 1 or 2) cows for personal use.

Gordon Drake gave up the farm and the dairy herd. The tenancy was taken over by Jack Layland.
ack supplied the Milk Marketing Board with bulk milk. During 1952, the Dairy at Bures Hall commenced bottling their own milk.

Other known Dairy Herds in the area:-
Probert at Corn Hall
Gordon Webber at Bakers Hall
Secretaries Farm, Water lane

During 1930/1940 there were four other Milk suppliers in the village namely:
Everitt and Eaves at Wharf House
Percival who used a Pony and Trap from Wakes Colne
Billy Fowler who also used Pony and Trap from Lamarsh, later to use 3 wheeled motorised vehicle
Taylor from Spout Lane.

There is a report that Bures Hall no longer supplied milk to the Nayland Rd Dairy and they had to an find alternative supplier (not substantiated)
Mick Delaine continued to work for Walter Hume at the Dairy as a roundsman, collecting milk with his own vehicle.

When Walter passed away, his wife put the Dairy up for sale. Iris De-Laine is then recorded as the owner from 1939 until 1949.
Mick De-Laine was the owner of the One Bell PH

milk account
Iris De-Laine getting ready for the morning milk delivery
Account dated 1947 for Dairy materials

Milk was obtained from Bures Hall fresh each morning. A 10gall churn was attached to a two wheeled cart with pram type handles. A brass tap on the bottom of the churn would dispense the milk. On the top of the churn was a `plunger` which the delivery man kept agitated to prevent the milk from curdling. (see left photograph)

Today, we have semi or skimmed milk where the cream has been removed. In those early days, the milk was thick with cream and would easily have curdled, either in the hot weather or by the agitation of the cart, as it travelled around the village. The owner was not best pleased, if the dairyman returned with the churn insides covered in curd. This was milk wasted and consequently a loss of income.

Ladies would come out into the street when the milkman appeared with their jugs.
They were not amused if any milk was spilt and didn`t go into the jug, every little drop counted.
Malcolm Cook, who worked for Delaine for a short while, recalls that you were soon asked to top up the jug to its brim or incur the wrath of the customer.
Patience was the greatest requirement as a roundsman. Malcolm recalls, You would knock at the door and the customer would call out, "Just got to wash the jug up before I come out".
No leaving the milk on the doorstep and scurrying away in those days.

There was no pasteurized milk in those days, so it was essential the milk was delivered in the shortest possible time. It would have been collected from Bures Hall at perhaps 6.00am and delivered within hours. There was also a second shorter delivery later in the day.
This certainly was, "Fresh Milk with full cream" unlike today, where it may be days old before it arrives on your doorstep.

During the mid 40`s there were three milk deliveries operating in the village:-
1. Mount Bures, Jersey Herd Dairy (Mr Berry)
2. Nayland Rd as above
3. Artimous Graves, shopkeeper in the High St, sold milk over the counter.

There were four dairy herds in the area:-
1. Bures Hall
2. Dorking Tye
3. Wormingford Hall
4. Mount Bures/Ravensfield Farm (Mr Berry)

Sometime around 1943/44 milk was finally bottled, making the delivery a much more hygienic and easy task. No tin foil tops in those days, the bottle necks were sealed with cardboard stoppers.

milk invoice

Jack Layland took over from Delaine in 1949 until (circa)1964.

The Dairy in Nayland Road closed down and the business was transferred to Bures Hall.

Jack Layland continued to deliver milk until his death in 1964 when the round was put up for sale.

Byhams of Ballingdon purchased it for the short period between 1964 until 1970.

To return to a local village delivery, Ken Baxter then took over the milkround operating from the Dairy in the High St.
Today the estate of Friends Field, stands on the site of former meadow land which was to the rear of the dairy.

cuckoo barn To the front of Cuckoo Barn/Friends Field.

1990`s: During the late 90`s, the round was sold to the Co-op in Colchester, who still maintain a very much reduced daily round.

Today in 2007, Byhams still maintain a delivery service in the village, 45 years after they first took over.

Information kindly supplied by:-
Gordon Pilgrim, Malcolm Cook, Arthur Beaumont, John Ineson, Douglas Hume and Jenny DeLaine