Budden & Biggs Brewery Ltd – Pale Ale
So here they come, in no particular order. I was born in Gillingham. Best football team in Kent, and lived in Strood until I was 12 years old. My father wasn’t the world’s heaviest drinker, probably 100 units in his entire 96 years, but I can remember him talking about Budden and Biggs Body Building Beverages, pointed out where the brewery was and showed me a pub wall with a faded advert on it. Actually when I thought about it much later Budden & Biggs Body Building Beverages works really well. However, at that age I was strangely unimpressed with the information. About 15 years ago I acquired my first label and courtesy of an auction house near Nottingham added this label to my collection a couple of years later. Simple use of the belt and buckle, uncomplicated, red/black always good. Love it.
Bullard & Sons Ltd – Pale Ale
I started collecting in the early 80s after I bought a large box full of labels from a junk shop in Rochester. Several thousand labels from the United States, Eastern Europe and about 2000 from the UK. Although most labels were from the 50s and 60s there were a few real gems, including many from East Anglia, including this lovely example from Bullards of Norwich. A red and black theme seems to be emerging, town name again, Norwich and proud of it. Superb Anchor trade mark.
Burnley Clubs Brewery Co Ltd – Nut Brown Ale
For my last label, I had to include something from Burnley. It wasn’t far from where I lived in the 1980s and 1990s. Firstly it is from the Burnley Cubs Brewery, and I have always had a liking for breweries that existed to serve the clubs trade and the working people of the town, secondly I have few square labels in this orientation and thirdly it gives me a chance to mention the finest football match I have ever seen. February 1999. Burnley 0 Gillingham 5. All five scored by Super Bobby Taylor, soon to be off to Manchester City.
Bury Brewery Co Ltd – Stout
No prizes for guessing why this is here. The brewery was close to the centre of Bury not far from the Crown Brewery. There are still plenty of reminders of the brewery, the best being the roofboards just down the road at the Dungeon Inn. And there are a few large tiled signs around, I saw one in Rochdale just this afternoon. There aren’t many labels from this brewery around, I have just the three and I have seen one other. Interesting to note the old version Ld. as the abbreviation for Limited is still there. This had fallen out of use by the 1920s for most companies.
Gartsides (Brookside Brewery) Ltd – Dinner Ale
In the 1970s I played a lot of chess. We had a pub team at the Albert Inn in Rusholme. There were a couple of really good players, but I managed to get game most weeks. We played a team in Ashton under Lyne, the only other pub team in the League, on a regular basis and they played in a former Gartsides pub, the Theatre Tavern, which still had the tiled walls and signage. I have always liked the Gartside labels, this is the only one I have, which doesn’t appear anywhere else on the website.
George Shaw & Co Ltd – Tenpenny
I worked for 25 years in Leigh. From the time my interest in old breweries and label collecting had begun I visited the remains of the brewery on more than one occasion in the hope of finding a label or two. I did manage to acquire an early playing card but that wasn’t the same thing. Eventually I added this label and the Extra Stout label to my collection. Both brews were continued by Peter Walker with almost the same label design after the takeover in 1931. Once again a simple design, and it seems red is the colour of choice, although this time red and shades of brown.
John Baxter Ltd – Light Pale Ale
I lived for a number of years in Rawtenstall. John Baxters Brewery had been situated about a mile away in Waterfoot until purchased and closed by Beverley Brothers of Wakefield in the early 1950s. The stables were there, and still are I believe. Stone monogram prominent. Plenty of Glen Top Ales windows to be seen in the locality. I remember there was a model of the brewery in the local museum. I have got away from red, but I expect you have noticed the consistency of label style, brewery name curved around the top, beer or town round the bottom. And there is the monogram.
Manchester Brewery Company – Oatmeal Stout
I moved to Manchester in 1965. One of the pubs visited regularly was the Lower Turks Head in Withy Grove. For many years I didn’t know what the MB above the door was all about, only later did I learn about the Manchester Brewery Company and its place in the history of brewing in the City. Much later came the label. How could anyone resist their silver vatted ales. Lovely design and for me, a move away from the traditional oval designs.
Style & Winch Ltd – Maidstone Pale Ale
In my mid-teen years, I had a Sunday job with a national Ice Cream company. A van took us to Maidstone, where we were dropped off with our ‘Stop me and Buy One’ trolleys. The first stop was opposite the Medway Brewery on St. Peter’s Street. It made only a small impression at the time, but I still remember the smell. Maidstone Pale Ale: there is pride in that name, it is not just any old Pale Ale. There is so much to like about this label, colour, design, name, trade mark.
Tadcaster Tower Brewery Co Ltd – Nut Brown Ale
I can’t believe we are on seven already. The Tadcaster Tower Brewery was the first brewery I visited in the 1970s. I can’t remember who organised it or who I went with. It obviously made an impression because I have put together a good collection of their labels. I like the development of the Tower and background, and the way in which the different bottling stores are listed on the labels. This example has everything for me. Strong winds, light and shade in the tower, 6d a bottle and was in use before the bottling plant at Grimsby was closed.