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Picture from the Spanton Jarman collection showing the construction of Bury's sugar beet factory in 1925

In January 1925, local farmer Lionel Fulcher sold his farm off Hollow Road and 45 acres of land to Messrs Tate and Lyle Ltd, for the construction of a sugar beet factory.

The Bury Free Press of January 7, 1925, reported: "Tate and Lyle are co-operating with Hungarian interests in the building of a factory at Bury St Edmunds, on which work will soon begin.

Each group will find half of the £350,000 involved, and a Hungarian expert, Dr R Jorish, has been chosen as organiser."

Sugar beet factorym Bury, built in 1925. From the Spanton Jarman collection (6338735)
Sugar beet factorym Bury, built in 1925. From the Spanton Jarman collection (6338735)

The factory opened in December 1925. A new road, Holderness Road was constructed to give access to Hollow Road, and 16 pairs of houses were built by Bury Town Council for essential workers.

-- -- This picture is part of a remarkable collection of 4,000 photographs in the care of Bury St Edmunds Past and Present Society which offers a glimpse into the town’s history.

Taken by two families of professional photographers, the Spantons and the Jarmans, the images span a period from the 1860s through to the outbreak of World War Two.

The fragile glass plate negatives were donated to the society in 1997 and in recent years many of these have been ‘digitised’ thanks to a Lottery grant and donations. They can be viewed at www.burypastandpresent.org.uk where you can also find details about membership and the group’s programme of events and lectures.

The Spanton-Jarman collection is held at the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Suffolk Record Office.

For more details about the Record Office, including its programme of talks and courses, visit www.suffolkarchives.co.uk.