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British Industrial History

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Young and Co of Wandsworth

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Brewers, of the Ram Brewery, Wandsworth

1581 Humphrey Langridge was brewing at the sign of the Ram, a prominent Wandsworth inn since 1533. He also supplied beer for other local pubs and private houses.

Humphrey Langridge's descendants ran the brewery for over 90 years.

1670 The brewery passed by marriage to Somerset Draper and his brother Humphrey.

1763 the Drapers sold the brewery to Thomas Tritton, a Kentish brewer.

Tritton introduced porter - an 18th century brewing innovation - as well as buying and leasing public houses in Wandsworth, Putney, Clapham, central London, even as far a field as Sheerness.

1786, Thomas's son George took on the business.

1803 the Surrey Iron Railway opened. It ran from near the Ram Brewery to Croydon. Shareholders included George Tritton and the Southwark manufacturer, Florance Young. For the first time, Wandsworth beer was distributed by rail.

1831 Florance Young's son, Charles Allen Young, and Anthony Fothergill Bainbridge bought the Ram Brewery from the Trittons. The purchase included 80 pubs.

1832 A fire destroyed most of the brewhouse but it was quickly rebuilt

1835 a new beam engine was erected inside the brewery. It is said to be the oldest working beam engine of its kind in the world still in working condition and in its original location.

1855 Charles Allen Young died; his son Charles Florance Young entered the partnership

1867 A further steam engine was installed; the 2 engines provided steam power in the brewery up until 1976.

Young and Bainbridge bought a porter brewery

By 1864 production had turned to lighter beers, Young's Bitter.

1873 Anthony Fothergill Bainbridge was succeeded by his nephew, Herbert.

1882 another fire caused extensive damage to part of the brewery and the Ram Inn. Both were rebuilt.

1883 Dissolution of the Young and Bainbridge partnership. Charles carried on the business alone as Young & Co.

1890 When he died, a private limited company was formed, Young & Co.'s Brewery Limited, with his widow and children as the principal shareholders.

1893 the Ram trademark was registered.

1955 became a publicly quoted company

1962 John Allen Young, great-great-grandson of the firm's founder, became Chairman. He was instrumental in promoting traditional draught beer in all Young's pubs, despite the trend in the industry to abandon them.

1962 Acquired Foster-Probyn, one of the largest and oldest bottling firms

1973 Purchased Cockburn and Campbell Ltd., wine merchants of Edinburgh and London since 1796.

1984 New brewhouse was built.

1990 Acquired a hotel, the Bridge in Greenford.

1991 Acquired independent pub operator, H H Finch Limited

1998 a new bottling line was installed

2000 Purchased 17 pubs in the West Country.

2004 Young's sold the Ram Brewery site and entered into a joint venture with the Bedford brewers Charles Wells, Wells & Young's Brewing Company Ltd.

2011 Charles Wells Ltd purchased the 40% stake in Wells and Young's from Young's.

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