Brief encounters with Alkuris

Pictured above: 37, Sheen Road (stands opposite No. 36).

On the website Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers (A Surrey Heritage (Surrey County Council) project), Martin Stilwell writes on The industry of leafy Kew in World War 1:

“…Below is a list of relatively modest companies that provided parts for the industries of Surrey or London in 1918…

…Stanley J Watson, 37 Sheen Road, Richmond, employed eighteen men and two women in manufacturing magneto parts, nuts and bolts, turnbuckles, and ball bearings.

Stanley J Watson occupied a yard that is now known as The Courtyard, and the origins of this site have proved to be something of a mystery. Above the entrance is a shield for the City of London bordered by what are believed to be two cornucopia (horns of plenty). Despite searches in Richmond library, TNA, the City of London (Guildhall), and the London Metropolitan Archives, no records can be found that give a clue as to any links of this site to the City. In the early part of the war the site was occupied by a distilled water manufacturer, Alkuris Ltd. (A 1913 photograph from Alkuris days shows the City of London badge above the entrance, as in image above.)

The London Gazette of 11th November, 1910, recorded the creation of the Limited Company:

“In the High Court of Justice.—Chancery Division. Mr. Justice Neville.

No. 00210 of 1910.

In the Matter of the Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908, and in the Matter of ALKURIS Limited and Reduced.

Dated this 9th day of November, 1910.

MONTAGUE A. ORGILL, 4 and 5, Norfolk- street, Strand, London, W.C., Solicitor for

the Company.”

(From Wikipedia:

“Norfolk Street in the City of Westminster, London, ran from Strand in the north to the edge of the River Thames in the south, and after the Victoria Embankment was built (1865–1870), to what is now Temple Place. It was crossed only by Howard Street. It was demolished in the 1970s. The Norfolk Street tube station was planned for the street in 1902, but never built.”)

From the Summary of EXCAVATIONS AT KEW BRIDGE HOUSE, KEW BRIDGE ROAD, BRENTFORD, 2007, by Nicholas Cooke and Christopher Phillpotts:

“…Much of the 19th century pottery assemblage was recovered from the material used to fill the barrel vaulted cellar, and includes tea wares (plates, cups and small bowls) as well as other items such as chamber pots, and a number of stoneware bottles amongst which are examples stamped by the Royal Brewery Company (1832–1923), the York Mineral Company (1909+), Gordon Jones Ltd of Twickenham (1890–8) and Alkuris Limited. Some of these could have been made by the local Fulham pottery, while others are stamped with makers’ marks as far afield as Derby…”

Among collectables on eBay is occasionally offered for sale:

“Alkuris Limited (London) ginger beer bottle – made by Breffit Castleford”


“Edgar Breffit & Co., Castleford, Yorkshire, England (1844-1913)

A firm, styled Winterbottom & Jessop, purchased four acres of land at Ryebread Hill from Lord Houghton in 1834 and erected the Ryebread Glass Works. Edgar Breffit acquired the business in 1844 and renamed it Breffit’s Glass Works. By 1868,1 E. Breffit & Co. had become the proprietors of the Aire and Calder Glass Bottle Works. Toulouse (1971:79) stated that “the official name of the factory itself became the Aire and Calder Glass Bottle Works, thus fixing its position near the junction of these two rivers and the Aire Canal, only a couple of miles northwest of Castleford.” The sources are unusually vague about this transition. Since we can find no earlier information about Aire & Calder, it is likely that Breffit renamed the former Ryebread factory – but this is logical conjecture rather than historical fact.

In 1873, the firm advertised under both the Breffit and Aire & Calder names. By 1884, Edgar Breffit & Co. had become a limited liability company (Ltd. or Ld.). The plant was operating five machines by 1907. Breffit became part of United Glass Bottle Mfg. Co., Ltd., on March 31, 1913, although the firm retained its own identity until 1921. Cannington, Shaw & Co., Nuttal & Co., Alfred Alexander & Co., and Robert Candlish & Son, Ltd. combined in 1913 to form the United Glass Bottle Manufacturers, Ltd., and Breffit joined later that year. The firm continues to be Britain’s largest glass producer.”

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