Think of bottled water and you probably think of its source being in the French Alps, the Scottish Highlands or even Buxton. But what about Bordon?
Yes, Bordon. It might not be a place that immediately springs to mind, but it appears the Hampshire town did produce its own mineral water early in the last century.
The Bordon Mineral Water Company crops up in newspaper stories in 1906, but it seems it later became part of Allen & Lloyd, which was listed in Kelly’s Directory as a mineral water manufacturer at Bordon from 1911 to 1920.
The location of the business was a farmhouse at the bottom of Chalet Hill, just beyond the entrance to what is now Tilbury Close. But was there a spring at this site or just a bottling plant?
Allen & Lloyd was a chemist’s business that sold everything from photographic services to sets of false teeth (American and British makes, according to their adverts!) as well as the usual pills and potions from shops in Aldershot and Fleet.
There was still a branch in Aldershot until the 1960s and maybe beyond. Perhaps readers can tell us when it finally closed?
The company was founded by Henry Allen, who arrived in Aldershot from Basingstoke in 1857 and went into partnership with a Mr Lloyd in 1868. It would seem likely they took over the Bordon Mineral Water Company as their enterprise expanded.
The motto of the firm was “We follow the troops” and their products certainly did because, according to Woolmer Forest Heritage Society (WFHS), Allen and Lloyd’s bottles are to be found in many waste dumps near army establishments around the south of England.
But in 1906, the water manufacturer was still called the Bordon Mineral Water Company and being run by a Mr Tebbutt who is reported in the Hampshire Post as donating a consignment of its mineral water for the Blackmoor Fete – an extravagant affair with military gymnastic displays and gymkhana, tug-of-war, wrestling plus numerous other sports and competitions held on September 1.
Later that month, the Bordon Mineral Water Company was mentioned in the press again when a clerk, Frederick White, who worked at its office, was fined eight shillings for riding a bike without a light at Deadwater Hill.
The photographs featured here are from postcards in the WFHS archive. One, dated 1905, is looking down ‘Deadwater Hill’, now Chalet Hill, showing a farmhouse at the bottom where the Bordon Mineral Water Company (later Allen & Lloyd) was located.
Another from 1910 shows the same farmhouse in Chalet Hill just beyond the entrance to what is now Tilbury Close, while the third (right) is of a match-striker that seems to have been designed for a pub on Salisbury Plain, which advertises that Allen & Lloyd has branches in Fleet and Bordon.