COOPER & KIRK, CAMBRIA WORKS, SWINDON
Cooper & Kirk were listed in the 1895 Kelly's Trade Directory of Wiltshire as only trading in Wroughton with no mention of a Swindon location.
However, the bottle shown here clearly shows Cambria Works, Swindon. It is therefore thought that they operated from the Cambria Bridge area of Swindon, in the heart of the local Welsh population who worked for the GWR.
KIRK also had a business around this time but it is not known which came first, KIRK or Cooper & Kirk.
The information above is taken from 'A history of Swindon & District Mineral Water Manufacturers' by Peter Sheldon.
Further investigation has revealed that Samuel William Kirk was born on 15th Jan 1869 with his birth registered in Clifton, Bristol. He married Emily Cooper in early 1894. Emily was born in Hungary in 1871 to British parents.
This now proves that S.W. Kirk predates Cooper & Kirk.
In 1895 Samuel and Emily are living at the old Elizabethan Manor House in Wroughton but their business is failing.
The horses from their business are sold at auction.
The 13th June 1896 sees Samuel declared bankrupt. Throughout 1886 the courts windup his mineral water business and according to the London Gazette he moves into 26 Linslade Street, Swindon. This was his father’s house where up to nine family members shared just 2 bedrooms.
By 1901 Samuel and his family have moved in with Emily's parents in Twerton, Bath and appears to be working for Emily's father in his Railway Contractor business.
Ten years later in the 1911 census Samuel, Emily and their two daughters are in the same house but Emily's parents have moved out. Samuel is now a china Antique Dealer. From 1914 to 1923 he is listed as an Antique Furniture dealer working at 20 Walcot Street, Bath with Emily now a Confectioner at 5 Walcot Street, Bath.
Samuel William Kirk died in Somerset on 23rd Sept 1923 aged just 55.