Water, Jam and locally produced histories

To end our short series on jam and preserves manufacturing we’re looking at a very small, basically one-man business, in Brimington, near Chesterfield. We’ll also look at how VCH doesn’t replace locally produced histories.

Two Kirkham & Hebdige bottles, that would have been filled with mineral water at their Coronation Road, Brimington premises. The ‘K&H’ site was subsequently used by a short-lived jam and preserves manufacturer.

Water and jam

The story starts when land, at the north end of Coronation Road, Brimington was sold to a Frederick Hebdige and Reuban Kirkham in 1903. They erected a small factory and stable on the land and made mineral water there. But by 1919 the property was for sale with the mineral water manufactory out of use. Our photographs shows two bottles from this short-lived affai

The property was sold to a consortium of people. Included were members of the Hicks family (who were grocers). And so the business styled as ‘The Corona Fruit Preserving Company’ started. (There is no connection, incidentally, with the well-known Corona soft drinks company).

William John Piece of Sanforth Street, Newbold, appears to have been the only active partner in the business, excepting another who acted as sole selling agent for the jam.

New buildings were added by the partners and the business was successful for a few years until 1921, when it made a loss. The partnership was dissolved in June 1921, but Pierce decided to take the whole business on. This was ultimately his undoing as in early 1923 he was filing for bankruptcy. There is no mention of the business in production after that date.

The jam factory, as it became known, was the cause of complaints from the parish council. In early in 1922 it was reported that ‘thick clouds of smoke’ were being emitted from the property, causing a nuisance.

No advertisements have ever been found for either the mineral water or the preserve manufactures and they weren’t listed in local trade directories.

You can find out a lot more about these two short-lived businesses in an article published by the Brimington and Tapton Local History Group – look for the Brimington and Tapton Miscellany 1 download – it’s contained in there.

Replacing history?

Our thanks to Brimington and Tapton Local History Group for pointing out this very small-scale business.

It’s certainly on a different scale to the previous preserves businesses we have looked at. Like the other two, though, it will certainly get a mention in our VCH Red Books.

But the VCH account won’t replace individual histories like that about the Brimington business. VCH can’t hope to go into the detail that individual accounts like that can. But what we will do is ‘signpost’ such accounts in our very thorough references.

We always look at reliable published sources, but will also examine original sources in our parish histories. We’ll undertake research that might well be beyond the average interested person. For example, trips to the National Archives in London can be very expensive and not everyone can read Latin.

If you’d like to find out more about us and how you might help in research please contact us. (And you don’t have to read Latin to get involved!)