BRISTOL & SOUTH WALES AERATED WATER COMPANY

(Mills & Short, proprietors).


Captain George Taylor Mills was baptised 17 February 1822, in Whitminster, Gloucestershire, son of James and Sarah. George married Elizabeth Edmonds at St. Andrew's in Clifton on 11 December 1848. He was for 25 years a sea captain in the employ of Messrs. Sloan and Company of Glasgow, and upon his retirement from sea he entered into partnership with Simon Short, as aerated water manufacturers. George's daughter Henrietta was married to Samuel Short, (manager of Coffee House companies in Birmingham,) in Clifton, Bristol, in 1876. In 1871 the Mills family lived at Byron Cottage, Grosvenor Road, whilst Capt. George was at sea. The partnership between Mills and Short, aerated water manufacturers, was dissolved on 29 September 1894 although the firm continued to trade as Mills and Short. George had actually retired from the business by 1891. George Taylor Mills, master mariner and aerated water manufacturer, of 13 Kensington Park, Stapleton Road, died on 14 April 1895, he was buried at Arnos Vale cemetery and his widow Elizabeth, and Samuel Edward Short were his executors.

Simon Short, born around 1826 in Bristol, the son of a soldier who fought at Waterloo, was left fatherless aged five, and went to sea. He married Susannah Christian Scott on 25 January 1846. Short was an ardent temperance campaigner and long standing member of the Bristol Seaman's Friend Society and Bethel Union. Their meeting house was called the Bethel Ship mission house at 59 Broad Quay. He was appointed Seaman's Missionary on 28 March 1860, and was active in the cause for most of his life. His temperance campaigning led to him presiding over the setting up of a coffee and cocoa house chain called the "British Workman" in Bristol, Liverpool docks, Avonmouth and elsewhere. This became known as the Cocoa and Coffee Tavern movement and Short believed this originated in Bristol. The movement was started to keep the sailors out of the pubs. They rented a house that could hold 300 people with a bar. Short went down to the docks and shouted "Cocoa a penny a pint, half-penny a half-pint!". They sold 100 gallons on their first day. The house soon became overcrowded and publicans arrived selling beer to those outside, but some of the men bought a boat they called the "cocoa boat" which would ply the docks supplying cocoa to ships whose captain requested it by sounding a horn. Short went to Liverpool in 1875 by invitation, setting up shops there, some seating up to 1,000 people. The brewers and publicans became alarmed by the drop in trade, and Short was the arch-enemy of the Brewer's Protection Associations. Similar enterprises were set up in other towns where Short toured. His hobby throughout his life was the "Bethel Ship" a floating mission where services were held nightly, and thousands of temperance pledges taken. Simon died in March 1901 aged 76. There is a memorial fountain bearing Simon's image at Merchant's Road, Hotwells. His sons followed in his footsteps and it was son, William Simon (known as Simon or "Willie" by employees), who was in the aerated water manufacturing business around 1884 with George Taylor Mills, the business partnership likely being entered into by his father. The Short family were living at 74 Ashley Road in 1881 and Simon junior was still at school, being 13 years old, so was only 16 when he embarked upon the Aerated Waters career, he is certainly running that business by 1891. His father's coffee tavern was at 11 and 12 High Street. The aerated water premises, begun at St. Philip's, were sufficiently established by September 1884 to donate 2. 2s. to the Bristol Royal Infirmary. By 1887 the company was a member of Bristol & District Mineral Water Bottle Exchange and Trade Protection Association and was at the Counterslip premises (possibly the same as referred to as St. Philip's). Simon junior married Ellen Stone in 1891. Simon died on 15 February 1925 at Bristol Royal Infirmary, he was living at 16 Fairlawn Road, Montpelier.

6oz Bullet Stoppered mineral BANDSWAWC1.jpg
Embossed (in circle): BRISTOL & SOUTH WALES / AERATED WATER Co., (vertical in centre): M & S.



Glass maker: Powell & Ricketts (Bristol).

10oz Bullet Stoppered mineral BANDSWAWC2.jpg
Embossed (in circle): BRISTOL & SOUTH WALES / AERATED WATER Co., (vertical in centre): M & S.



Glass maker: Powell & Ricketts (Bristol).

Stoneware Ginger Beer Bottle BANDSWAWC3.jpg
Printeded (in circle): *BRISTOL & SOUTH WALES* / AERATED WATER CO., (monogram centre): M & S. / S W (around centre) G. T. MILLS / ST. PHILIPS BRIDGE.



Potter: ? 2 tone glaze.
Image courtesy Miles Griffin.


Return to Town Index