Hansford & Co.

Mineral water and ginger beer manufacturers

Robert Frederick Hansford was born in 1860/61 in Walditch, Dorset and baptised 13 Jan 1861, son of Daniel Hansford and Marianne Hardy, who were married at Bothenhampton, Dorset, 14 June 1847. In 1881 Robert was a warehouseman still living in Walditch. By 1891 Robert is a Mineral Water Manufacturer living next to the Engineer's Arms, at 16 Lincoln Street, St. Philip & Jacob, Bristol, with his wife Amelia. Robert had married Amelia Jemima Holt Bugler of Broadwindsor, at the Gospel Hall, St. Nicholas Road, Bristol, 27 May 1884. By 1899 Robert is established in the business enough to have become a member of the Bristol Bottle Exchange. Amelia, Robert's wife, died in 1921 and was buried on 24 Dec. in Walditch, Dorset. Robert remarried in 1923 to Edith Ethel Elizabeth Lewis (1885-1947), in Paddington, London. Robert died at Charing Cross Hospital, London, on 18 Feb. 1929. He was also buried in Walditch. At the time he had homes both in 4 Hyde Park Place, London and Hamilton, Bridport Harbour, Dorset.

Alfred Hansford, Robert's older brother, was born in 1859 in Walditch, Dorset, baptised 12 June,  Alfred married Kate Mary Ann Minnett at Morden St. Lawrence, Surrey, on 3 May 1887. Alfred was working as a groom at the time of his marriage. He was still a groom living at 10 High Street, St. George, Bristol in 1891. By 1901 his address is listed as 20 High Street, St. George and by this time he is an Aerated Water Bottler, likely working with his brother. It is likely Alfred joined his brother around 1896 when the company became Hansford & Co.

 James Stenner was born in Selworthy, Somerset, in 1847, baptised 18 April, to parents Joseph Stenner and Elizabeth Birmingham. James married Amelia Young in Stoke Bishop St. Mary Magdalene on 29 March 1875. Between 1881 and 1891 James was a grocer at the City House Grocer Shop, 31 Brook Road, St. Andrews, Bristol, but in 1892 he appears in partnership with Robert F. Hansford as the company of "Hansford and Stenner". By 1901 he had moved to 129 Chesterfield Road, Ashley Down, and is listed in the census of that year as a Mineral Water Manufacturer (employer). James remained a partner with the Hansfords until his death at home, in Chesterfield Road, on 19 Feb. 1908. He was buried at Greenbank Cemetery, Bristol.

Western Daily Press - Tuesday 22 March 1898 published a notice implying Hansford had bought out a competitor:

NOTICE. - On and after the 15th day of March, 1898, all BOTTLES and BOXES belonging to and bearing the Name of EASTVILLE and FISHPONDS and G. D. THOMPSON and Co., Mineral Water Manufacturers, Eastville, are now the property of HANSFORD and Co., Mineral Water Manufacturers, Grosvenor Road.

Western Daily Press - Monday 21 August 1899 reports Hansford had taken over equipment and bottles from a pre-existing company in Ashley Vale. Hansford & Co. issue the following announcement:

ALL BOTTLES and BOXES belonging to the ASHLEY VALE MINERAL WATER CO., Ashley Hill, Bristol and bearing the following names- "W. E. Curtis & Co.," "Curtis & Cross," "Cross," "Ashley Vale Mineral Water Co.," and "Kops" - are now the property of  HANSFORD & CO., Mineral Water Manufacturers, Grosvenor Road, Bristol.


In July 1900 the Grosvenor Road premises were advertised for sale or let. In 1901 they were still supplying Hop Bitters and offering 10 reward for information on those spreading rumours that they could no longer supply this product. The 1902 Kelly's directory lists the Hop Bitter Brewery to be in Franklyn Street, St. Paul's. By 1906 the company was operating from Grosvenor Road and Ashley Road.

Hansford & Co. were trading as late as 1938 in York Street, St. Paul's, Bristol (Tel. No. 24886).

2 Gallon Tap Jar Flagon Hansford7.jpg
Front printed:  This Jar is the Property of / HANSFORD & CO / BRISTOL / - / Any Person Damaging or Illegally / using this jar will be Prosecuted.

2150 (on top).
POWELL / PATENT TAP (near tap)
Potter:  Price-Powell & Co. Bristol.

Stoneware Ginger Beer Bottles Hansford1.jpg
Printed:  *HANSFORD & CO's* / BRISTOL (in circle); BREWED / GINGER / BEER (in centre).

Potter: left: Price, Bristol; right: Pearson, Chesterfield.
Internal screw stopper. Wooden stopper with HANSFORD / BRISTOL inscribed. Height of both: 17cm.

10oz Codd Bottle Hansford2.jpg
Embossed lengthwise:  HANSFORD & CO / BRISTOL
H on base (and 581).

Glassworks: Bratby & Hichliffe Ltd. / Manchester.
Also very similarly embossed bottle from Powell & Ricketts, Bristol.

6oz Codd Bottle Hansford6.jpg
Embossed lengthwise:  HANSFORD & CO / BRISTOL
H on base.

Glassworks: unmarked

10oz Codd Bottle Hansford3.jpg
Embossed lengthwise:  HANSFORD / & CO. / BRISTOL
H & Co. on Base.

Glassworks: S. W. G. Co. (South Wales Glass Co.)

10oz Codd Bottle Hansford4.jpg
Embossed lengthwise:  HANSFORD & CO / BRISTOL

"Beavis' Patent" (Pre-1899 court case).

Glassworks: Powell & Ricketts, Makers, Bristol.

Giant size 16oz Codd Bottle Hansford8.jpg
Embossed:  HANSFORD / & CO. (in arch)
BRISTOL (in line at base).

Glassworks: C. B. & Co.
Image courtesy Codd Tony Hughes.
Also similar version by Bagley & Co., Makers, Nottingham.

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