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:
KIDD AND HOTBLACK SOME RESEARCH NOTES AND QUESTIONS JAN 2011
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 1800s 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 Fredericks 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
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 1990s 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 GHs 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!
2 January 2011