Archive for January, 2011

The Last Drop: England’s Surviving Brewery Heritage

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

The Last Drop: England’s Surviving Brewery Heritage

A Day Conference at Burton-upon-Trent on Saturday 12 March 2011

Presented by the Brewery History Society and English Heritage

See for full details, or email:


Recent years have seen an acceleration in the rate of change affecting the brewing industry, which has seen mergers, acquisitions and associated closures that pose urgent questions for all with an interest in the archives, artefacts and architecture of the industry.

This event has been arranged to launch the important report on England’s brewing heritage prepared by Dr Lynn Pearson and the Brewery History Society as part of English Heritage’s SHIERs (Strategy for the Historic Industrial Environment Reports) programme and to consider ways forward for the conservation of this historic resource.

We will look at the report’s findings for breweries and archives, and its recommendations. After lunch, we will turn to the conservation of brewery heritage by way of three case-studies:

  • the significant findings of an excavation at the Royal Clarence Yard in Gosport,
  • the recent fate of Burton’s brewing heritage
  • the conservation aspects of the adaptive re-use of two Newark breweries

After a short break for tea, conference will conclude with a panel discussion to identify priorities for future action.

Time, Place and Cost

Coffee and registration will begin at 10.30 am.   The conference will begin at 11.00 am and finish at 4.15pm.

We will be in the Worthington Suite of the National Brewery Centre (formerly the Bass Museum/Coors Visitor Centre), Horninglow Street, Burton-upon-Trent DE14 1NG. 

The fee for the day, which includes coffee, a buffet lunch, tea and a copy of the SHIERs Report on disc, is £24.00.   A cash bar will be available.

Oral History

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Seeing Tony’s news item on the Hull pub oral history project reminds me to fly the flag for our own BHS project

We (our editor Tim and I) are trying to put some recordings on to YouTube but there is a time limit of about 10 minutes so this has created problems – we probably need to create some edited sound bites for this and point people to our own web site for the full recording.

Meanwhile we are always keen to hear from people who would like to conduct interviews or would be happy to recount their brewing connections for the archive.

We are also very keen to hear of brewing related recordings in other archives so that we can ensure that researchers are aware of these.


Pub Oral History project in Hull

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Tony Crosby has sent the following:

Thought this may be of interest if you have not already heard about it.

Best wishes

Whichelo Arms in Whichelo Place, Brighton

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

We have had the following query from Clive Whichelow
“I am trying to find out more about the Whichelo Arms in Whichelo Place, Brighton, which I beleive was a Tamplins pub. I would be grateful for any information you could provide or even if it was possible to let me know who else to contact.

From what I understand the Whichelos had interests in other pubs apart from the Whichelo Arms – e.g. The Bent Arms at Lindfield, The New Inn at Brighton, etc. as well as brewing connections.”

Clive would welcome details of any other Whichelo connections (we have seen the entries on A2A)

beer, brewed specially in special time

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

We have had the following query from the USA. Is anyone familiar with the term? We look forward to hearing from you

If you saw a listing in the victuals for a sea voyage of “beer, brewed specially in special time,” would that mean anything to you?

Does this phrase have any unique meaning to you with regard to the era of the mid 16th century?  The context would be most like in preparation for a long trip and stocking supplies.

Kidd and Hotblack, Cannon Brewery, Brighton

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Eric Dore has written asking for any general information about Kidd and Hotblack, the Cannon Brewery, Brighton – . I am especially keen to find photographs of the brewery – which I have never seen but they must surely exist given that most of the brewery was still standing in early 1969.

Eric does seem to have compiled quite a lot of basic information from the more readily available sources but would welcome much more, or pointers to sources.

He has provided the following information and questions:


1 Early History –  the original John Barnet(t) was brewing at the Cannon Brewery from 1821 having started brewing with his wife from his small home in Russell Street sometime earlier. He then built on the opposite side of the road to where he lived. Do we have any record of the plans (was planning permission or anything similar required?) for the brewery? Is it true that (according to H E S Simmons – HESS) the original brewer was succeeded by his son John? Was it John junior who died in 1870 or 1871 – if so, when did John senior die?

Peter Holtham (PH) refers to an article in Sussex Daily News in 1907, which dates the original business from the early 1800’s – do we have a copy of that article? How do we know that prior to 1821 John sold his beer from a truck around the streets of Brighton. I wonder if it was “bright” beer?!

2. Messrs Kidd – having acquired the Cannon Brewery in 1871, John and Frederick Kidd looked to grow the business. They had originally acquired 14 pubs in 1871 by lease and then purchased the same in 1884 – was that the total of the Cannon Brewery pubs in 1871? They then acquired the business/pubs of Ambrose Warde and William Thompson in 1876 (per PH) – is there any documentation for this – and (then as Kidd and Hotblack) the Palmeira Hotel, Hove in 1887.

Frederick had died in 1884 – John died in 1897 and according to the Brighton Herald (paper dated 13 March 1897) at the time of his death he was “the head of the firm Kidd and Hotblack …a prominent freemason, a….supporter of the Horticultural Society and a generous upholder of many causes.”

3. The Hotblack Years – after the death of Frederick Kidd, the brewery was run from 1884 by John Kidd in partnership with Herbert Arthur Hotblack who Graham Holter (GH) describes as a “Southend brewer”.  At the time, there were probably three “major” brewers in Southend – Commercial Brewery, Brewery Street (who it seems ceased trading in 1884) Middleton Brewery, High Street and Walkers Wellington Brewery, Nelson Street. Do we know where Herbert was brewing pre 1884?

After John Kidd died (in 1897) the brewery was run by Herbert Hotblack until 1900 and then by Frederick Mills Hotblack from 1900 to 1926 (per PH). Was Frederick the son of Herbert  and is it a coincidence that his first names were “borrowed” from the Kidd brothers!

Frederick Hotblack was therefore running the business at the time it became a limited liability company in November 1906 – are there any documentary records of this? Eliot Hotblack was listed as the brewer in 1917 (per GH) – was he Frederick’s son?

When did Herbert die? He was appointed a board member of Tamplins in 1926 (per GH) when the business and pubs of Kidd and Hotblack Ltd were acquired and the company went into voluntary liquidation.

4. The End Years – did Tamplins brew at Cannon Brewery after 1926? The general view was that they did but (per PH) the premises were used just as a beer depot from 1927 to 1964. When was the brewery finally demolished? As per PH it was c 1966 but GH says 1969 and HESS says that in April 1969 “the Cannon Brewery, much of which still remains, stood in Russell Street” 

5. The Beers of Kidd and Hotblack – so much for the history of the brewery/its personnel!  What were the beers and what were they like?  What do we know?  Well, historically, the beers were considered to be good because that meant that the original cottage industry set up by John Barnet(t) survived and indeed prospered!

I have evidence of the following beers


Red House Ale – stained glass window at Wick Inn (per PH)

Family XXX Ale – barrel label in my collection

India Pale Ale – barrel label in my collection

Bottled Beers – bottle labels in my collection

Pale Ale

Nourishing Stout

No 1

Family Stout

Is there evidence of other beers/its quality?

The company also bottled for Bass of Burton on Trent.

6. The Livery etc of Kidd and Hotblack – nothing is listed in the Brewery History Society archive. But I remember the red and black exterior and small Georgian windows at the Wick Inn, Hove (c 1965) – I bet the stained glass window has gone! I also remember drinking in a pub in Brighton in the 1990’s and realising that the “table” I was using was in fact a wooden barrel standing on its end – it was in good condition, painted red and black with the words “Kidd and Hotblack” clearly visible. What was the name of the pub and are the barrels (I believe that there were at least two) still in use. Are there other artefacts around that people are aware of?

7. Photographic Evidence – I have never seen any photo of the Cannon Brewery but given the fact that most of the building survived until 1969 there must be something, somewhere! There is a photo of a Kidd and Hotblack pub on the cover of GH’s book Sussex Breweries – what is the source for that ? Frustratingly, I cannot see a pub name – the street name is clearly visible “Upper Park Place” but then another frustration because there is no pub in that location listed on the extensive Brighton Library research of pubs operating at the time.

8. Researchers – I am grateful for the work of some of the following whose interest in Kidd and Hotblack, Sussex Breweries or the wider subject of UK breweries is known to me. I would be keen to hear if anyone knows of others who may have information

Peter Holtham – author of Seven Brighton Brewers (Sussex Industrial History Vol 22 – 1992) and Brewers of the Brighton Area (Vol 38 – 2008)

Graham Holter – author of Sussex Breweries ( published 2001)

H E S Simmons – author of Brighton Breweries – unpublished, so far as I know!

Roger Bristow

Alan Grainger

Keith Osborne

Eric Doré

2 January 2011

Aldershot in 1940

Saturday, January 1st, 2011 is a blog that retraces my father’s footsteps during 1940 while he was a Canadian Soldier stationed at Aldershot, England. Beginning January 1 2011, 71 years after they were written, we will be blogging his daily diary entries, verbatim.

Many, many entries that Dad wrote include stories of pubs and the enjoyment of a pint: beer, ale and cider. His range of travel was essentially between Aldershot and London; Farnham is mentioned frequently.

I’m hoping that there may some among your members who could help me understand the differences between beer, ale and cider of that time period, perhaps even what brands he may have consumed, given local brewing specialities.

Assistance will be acknowledged on the blog at time of reference. At this time, we are posting background and preliminary information once a week on the blog.

Any assistance / information would be helpful and appreciated.

Toni Heatley, for
Nova Scotia, Canada

Pub History Society Conference

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Simon Fowler has sent the following notice

This year’s Pub History Society conference takes place at The National Archives in South West London on 19 February. It marks the tenth anniversary of Britain’s premier society researching the history of the nation’s public houses.

As with previous events, there will a wide range of speakers on various aspects of inns, taverns and their role in British society, from lager drinking in Edwardian London, a seventeenth century survival in Suffolk, the records that innkeepers left behind in insurance records, and the role of pubs in rural Northamptonshire. In addition there a chance to talk about your collection of pub-related ephemera to fellow enthusiasts about pub memorabilia (so bring your tankards, brasses and photographs) and a stall selling the latest books on pub history.

Tickets are £5 on the door, which will include three months membership of the Society,  tea and coffee and a behind scenes tour of the UK’s national archives.

Details at To book email Simon Fowler at or ring 020-8940 6884.

Roger’s Brewery, Bristol

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Dear Sir / Madam,
My name is Colin Palmer. My Grandad, Edward Rogers, was associated with the family brewery by the same name. I am very keen to learn more about the Roger’s involvement in the firm and its history. Any photos would be much appreciated ! I have put Roger’s Brewery, Bristol, on Google and have found a limited amount of info plus one photo. If you have no information on this subject, would you be able to guide to who might please ? I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you,