Valid XHTML 1.0!

MARFLEET Family History

Marfleet's Bottles

This page was last updated:

NEWSPAPER PHOTO This photograph from an undated, un-named newspaper, is believed to come from a local Lincoln paper around 1986. It was given to me on the 16th September, 1995, by Mrs. Winifred Clara Bell, of North Hykeham. The photograph shows, on the left-hand side, three ginger-beer bottles which are all marked :

Since receiving the photograph I have made a search of the Trade Directories for Lincoln between 1880 and 1920 to try and determine which Marfleet was manufacturing ginger beer. I also set about trying to find one of the bottles. My initial enquiries all proved fruitless. I could find no trace of a ginger-beer manufacturer and suspected that he must be one of the maltster families who had businesses in Newark and Lincoln. I also made enquiries of Mr. Jack R. Feast of Sharnford, Leicestershire, who is a collector of Leicestershire bottles. After many months, Mr. Feast telephoned me to say that he had two MARFLEET bottles, did I want them?

I called on Mr. Feast on the evening of Monday, 21st April, 1997, and we had a long chat. He explained to me that, although it was true that some manufacturers of ginger-beer were listed as such in the trade directories, it was also common practice for confectioners to manufacture ginger-beer. The two bottles, which I purchased, bear the bottle manufacturer's mark BOURNE 6 DENBY. The number 6 indicates that they were made in 1906.

Armed with this new information, I went home and searched through by notes again. It was then that I was able to locate the elusive MARFLEET.

William John MARFLEET [ J.152C-160] was born on the 5th October, 1871. At that time his parents were living at 6 Nettleham Road, Lincoln. By the time of the 1881 census the family had moved to Canwick and William was a 9 year-old scholar. In the 1891 census they were living at 5 School Lane, Canwick and this time William was described as a 19 year-old fitter and turner. There is evidence to show that after his marriage in 1894, William moved away from Lincoln for a short while (in 1901 he was at Rugeley, Staffordshire and in 1905 in Chelmsford, Essex) but he is listed in the 1909 directory for Lincoln as a Confectioner and Pastrycook. Futher research is needed to determine when he returned to Lincoln.
Actual size: 18cm high (inc. stopper); 7cm diameter. On the 4th September, 1997, I received a very interesting letter from Mr Paul Hickman of the Witham Antique Bottle Collectors Club of Lincoln. Mr. Hickman says: Although I am still trying to positively link John William with the manufacturer of "Marfleet's Superior Stone Ginger", Lincoln; I am fairly certain that they are one and the same. Quite a few damaged ginger beers were dug several years ago from a rubbish tip only some 100m from the High Street premises. [Probably rejects, returned to the shop in a damaged condition.]
One of the anomalies encountered during research was the fact that the before returning to Lincoln, William's occupation when he lived at Chelmsford, Essex, was recorded as 'Foreman Electrical Engineer' - a far cry, it seemed, from confectioner and pastrycook. However, Mr Hickman is also able to offer an explanation for this situation: I can clear up one of your queries - the connection between electrical foreman and a confectioner.
"Ruddock's Directories of the City of Lincoln" 1907-1911 :-
Tramway Depot. William John Marfleet, tramways foreman, 150 High Street, Bracebridge.
This depot was at the end of the line, an ideal place for your wife to set up as a confectioner, seller of ginger beer etc.!

Mr. Hickman then quotes from a brief history of Lincoln trams. As electrical foreman, William would be very involved!
The Lincoln Tramway Company laid a track from Bracebridge to St. Benedict's Square [in the middle of Lincoln, near to the Stonebow] in 1882. The trams were drawn by horses and the 1.83 mile journey took 20 minutes. The Corporation bought the undertaking in 1904 and electrified it a year later. The first tram ran in Nov. 1905. The line used the Stud System, the only one of it's kind in this country. Set at intervals of 6 feet between the tracks were 'studs', each of which contained a plunger in contact with a buried cable. With the plunger in it's lower position the stud was 'dead'. Under each tram car was a 'skate' sufficiently long enough to span 2 studs, and consisting of a series of magnets. As the car passed over a stud the magnets lifted the plunger, and made electrical contact, so that the current was passed to the car. The car having passed the stud, the plunger dropped and the stud was dead again. In practice the plunger sometimes failed to fall when the car left it, leaving it live, with fatal results to more than one horse which happened to cross the tracks. In winter when snow and ice rendered a stud 'dead', the driver and conductor (and frequently other helpers) had to lever the wheel and push the tram onto the next stud in order to pick up the current again. The stud system was replaced in 1919 by overhead cables. In 1929 the motor bus took it's place.

Bracebridge Tram Depot c.1906
It is possible, but not confirmed, that William John Marfleet [J.152C-160] is the gentleman standing to the right of the first tram from the right of the photograph. This imposing figure appears in all contempory photographs of the trams at Bracebridge. Also his shop was probably the single storey building abutting the left hand side of the sheds. (Note the absence of overhead wires.)
The Opening of the Electric Tramway, Lincoln. 23.11.1905
(Postcard from the webmaster's private collection.)

Nor did William's travelling stop in Lincoln. In 1929 he took his 35 year-old cousin Sarah Ann [J.105T] to Canada. They arrived at Quebec on the 10th June having sailed on the "Megantic", a vessel of the White Star Dominion Line.

It is not know how long William or Sarah stayed in Canada but William John died in Blackpool in 1956 aged 85 years.

Bottle Collectors Webring Logo Bottle Collectors Ring Title
Want to join the Ring ?
Skip Prev Prev Next Skip Next Random Next 5 List Sites

�fleet Family History 2000

John's Homepage
Marfleet's Bottles
This page was created on the 24th January 2000.
Go to Contents
This page contains links to other web-sites. If you experience problems with an onward link, please e-mail me with details so that the problem can be rectified. Thank you.
Watch the record of time, every day, bit by bit disappear, every turn a circle, back to rolex replica the starting point, but still has been walking. A friend and I said that watches on behalf of enduring as the universe, the girl sent to you, all for your feelings can be a long long time. Watch is a concentrated expression of a man's taste in hublot replica life. Men generally only from the watch, pen (ball point pen), wallet, leather belt, leather bags on the choice and wear to show their fashion and taste. However, due to the leather wallet, leather bags are often slightly cumbersome and covered by women's fashion, so the choice of masculine men tend to watch and pen. The watch omega replica also embodies the pursuit of a man's life and grasp the future of tolerance.