At this time George Boulton owned
the pub and garage
New pump bay constructed selling
Left pump:- Regent Regular
Middle pump:- National Benzine
Right pump :- Super
Bill Moody (
also maintained the village fire pump)
The pump bay was regularly used by
residents sheltering from the weather whilst waiting for a Chambers
opposite the Eight Bells and adjacent to River House
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
1893 - Charles Alleston ( see River
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
1936 Barrie Deaves inherited Blacksmiths with the three blacksmiths
1939 Barr Deaves takes over the liquidation of the Gas and Coke
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 they 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
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
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
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
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
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
Colin relocated his business to a unit
at Fysh House Farm and the Hairdresser became mobile.
Circa mid 2005, trading as "C
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)
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
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
thrteen 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
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
Thanks to Derek Matthew for the loan of
Thanks to Douglas and Janet Shepherd in
Australia for their information
Brief History of site added 13/07/18
updated with For Sale 23/06/2019