Spot the difference #84; Magee, Marshall & Co. Ltd

This pair shows a change in design following the acquisition by Greenall, Whitley and Co Ltd of Warrington. The label on the left includes the Burton on Trent address; Magee’s brewed there in the former Bell’s Brewery from 1902 to 1904. The one on the right dates from 1959 when Magee’s joined the Greenall Whitley group, whilst continuing to brew in Bolton. I do not believe that design lasted for 55 years! Perhaps there is another explanation.

Crown pair


  • John Lester

    According to the Brewery History Society’s ‘Century of British Brewers’, after Magee’s stopped brewing at Bell’s brewery, the water from the brewery was transported to Bolton for brewing until 1909, when they acquired land for their own pumping station. Presumably this land was not on the Bell’s site, but Magee’s were still transporting Burton water to Bolton in railway wagons at least until the late 1930s: the Mass-Observation publication ‘The Pub and the People’ (published in 1943 and giving a detailed account of pubs and drinking in ‘Worktown’ (i.e. Bolton)) has a description of a visit to Magee’s brewery which tells us that ‘some [water is] brought in tanks from Burton to the brewery siding’ and that in the railway siding ‘there are trucks full of Burton water’ (though one ‘is empty, except for enormous quarter-inch thick flakes of rust strewn over the bottom’). It would be interesting to know when this practice ceased.


  • Edd Mather

    The Brewery stopped trucking water from Burton to Bolton in the mid to late 1960’s, when the private sidings were disconnected from the network ,
    Edd Mather

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