Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,118 pages of information and 233,665 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Newcastle Breweries

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1890 Newcastle Breweries Ltd was incorporated as a limited company.

Proud of its urban origins, the brewery's logo featured the city's skyline in silhouette against its trademark blue star. The city of Newcastle itself claimed, somewhat tenuously, to be England's first brewing town.

Newcastle Breweries was most strongly identified with its Newcastle Brown Ale, nicknamed 'The (Brown) Dog,' the beer won a top award for bottled beer in London in 1928, a year after it was introduced. In the 1990s, it was the largest selling bottled ale in Britain and continued to be produced in the city of its namesake throughout changes in ownership.

Like Scottish Brewers, Newcastle Breweries was an amalgamation of regional brewers, all family-controlled:

The Barras company operated the Tyne Brewery, which became the centre of the Newcastle Breweries' production and, like the Fountain Brewery, remained operational under Scottish and Newcastle.

In Newcastle Breweries' first 30 years other brewers and pubs were acquired, such as:

Between the end of World War II and the creation of Scottish and Newcastle, Newcastle Breweries acquired:

Personal Memories [1]

My father Ernest Ridley took over The King Edward in Bath Lane, part of the block where the brewing and bottling took place, in 1932 when I was 4 years old. I can remember the girls who worked there, they wore sacking aprons and clogs and worked extremely hard often doing men's work. They were very rough spoken but had a great sense of humour.

We lived there until 1952 when my mother took over The Rokeby on Stamfordham Road (by then my father had died and the Tenancy had been transferred to her).

Col. Porter was a friend of my father's, he started work as a Brewer and was based at Bath Lane Brewery when I was young we used to visit him occasionally at his home (I think it was at Picton) after his wife died and he remarried. We also knew Edward Reid who was very interested in birds.

After they acquired a site on Lemington Road Ends, where they intended to build The Peregrine, the war started and all the bird pictures were kept in Mr.Reid's office and the bronze Peregrine (which still stands at Chapel House) was kept on the Brewery roof to 'weather'.

My mother, brother and I moved to the Rokeby where my brother managed it for her. He was an extremely good Darts player and managed to get into the finals at Earls Court, London and was quite well known in the area. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident in 1957 at the age of 33, and my mother, who had a bad stroke the year previously, was unable to carry on. Mr.Priestly, who was a Director of Deuchars kindly offered to take me down to Nottingham, where the accident happened but sadly he died before arrangements could be made.

I tried to carry on with the help of a Manager but as I had never worked in the trade found this very difficult.

My mother retired in 1958 and I married the Manager David Smith who took over the Licence.

When the Peregrine was eventually built in 1962 my husband was granted the Licence and we were there until his retirement in 1986. We brought up two children there and had many happy years there.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. June Smith 2016/01/17
  • [1] Funding Universe web site