The Button Book
Thomas William Button's account book - 1922 to 1942
9th Feb 2018 email from Chris Rockett:
"I believe my late father found this book while working on a pub in the village of Earith, Cambridgeshire . Not sure how the book found its way to Cambridgeshire but my father gave it to me when he could not find an owner at that time, about 30 years ago .
I think I mentioned i am a retired joiner who had a small business, very similar to what Mr Button had in Tharston, so i was total absorbed in reading the book's contents and eventually stored it away.
We have just returned from a few days away in Suffolk at Corton village and funnily enough we had a day going round the small villages on an ancestors hunt for my wife ancestors and on our return I remembered the book and thought i would look to see what addresses where listed ,thinking their might be some Suffolk ones. It was then I got lucky and just put Mr Buttons name and Tharston village and your site came up with the answers. Mr Button had not written his name any where in the book, the only clue I had is a small receipt, separate from the main book, with Mr Buttons name from a bee keeping association.
That is more or less the story of the book"
A few entries from the book:
• Please note that these are transcriptions and are correct in content but not in format - the total costings per line and final amounts would have been in currency columns.
Feb 16th 
Making Oak Coffin with brass shield - £7 5s 0d
Enshrouding with Cotton Wool - 2s 6d
2 Mourning Coaches - £2 0s 0d
Hearse - £1 4s 0d
Church Expenses - £1 0s 0d
4 Bearers @ 5/- - £1 0s 0d
£12 11s 6d
Ledgered Page 2
To Heating Iron Castings of wheels and making axles
interchangeable. Making new shaft and Painting
Making 2 new boards with spokes
to distribute manure and Painting 2 coats
13hrs @ 1/2 (15/2) 2½ hrs @ 9½d (2/-) - 17s 2d
8ft6 2½ x 2½ (3/3) ash shaft - 3s 3d
9ft 1 x 9 (3/4½) 6 lb 3" wire nails (2/-) - 5s 4½d
4 ¼ bolts (4d) 1pt parrifin (2d) 2 lb paint (1/8) - 2s 2d
£1 8s 0d
Paid by Cash July 10th 1923
Whilst these two items above have not been especially selected for any particular reason, it is interesting to note the hourly rates charged and the costs of materials.
A list of surnames of people for whom work was completed and the page numbers in the accounts book:
Alexander 8, 22
Barnes 18, 19
Bussey 2, 11
Durrant 4, 25
Falgate 2, 9, 18
Formby 1, 15, 23
Gowing 4, 6, 12, 24, 24, 24
Hylton 1, 1
Ludkin 18, 18
Quantrill 5, 19
Rodwell 3, 20, 22, 22
Stimpson 10, 19
Tharston Church 16
Tharston School 17
Tweed 1, 6
Walpole 2, 4
• Please note that this is only from the first 25 pages of the book and will be added to as the book is researched.
Why this account was not in the book we don't know.
Mr. Feaveyear was from Topcroft so Thomas travelled some way to jobs, Topcroft being about 7 miles from Tharston.
Interestingly it was written on the plain reverse of a piece of information on painting - whether this was from wartime (the accounts dated 1939 and 1940) is unknown but it appears to be stressing the importance of 'saving money' and 'economy'.
Thomas was a member of the Norfolk Bee-keepers' Association and a receipt for 9/6 for membership for 1943 was found in the book.
Norfolk & Suffolk Journal & Diss Express - 4 Jun 1948 had a newspaper report of a lecture and demonstration of swarm control which was held at his apiary.