Chesterfield Photographic Society
Chesterfield Photographic Society
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The Brampton Brewery was situated between Chatsworth Road and Wheatbridge Road where the B&Q store now stands.
The date when it was established is unknown, although there was a brewery operating on the site by 1839. In the early years there were numerous owners, often partnerships, the company name changing with each new owner. In 1889, when trading as C. H. Chater & Co. the senior partner, Chater, withdrew leaving the junior partner Harold Soames as the sole proprietor. From then on it was to trade as the Brampton Brewery Co. When Mr Soames retired in 1897, a Public Share Issue was raised to purchase the brewery from him, together with 142 public houses owned or leased to the brewery. The new company expanded rapidly, increasing brewing capacity on an annual basis until disaster struck in May 1902, when fire destroyed the brewhouse. As production at the time was stretched to the limit it was decided to build a new brewery on adjacent land. This went into operation on May 2nd 1905, the first electrically driven brewery in the country. The old brewery buildings were converted into stores and workshops. The company continued to prosper, even through the restrictions and shortages of two World Wars, now turning its efforts to improving or rebuilding the pubs in its estate. Brampton's demise came after the death of its long serving Chairman, U. H. Tristram, in March 1955. Warwicks & Richardsons brewery of Newark, who had seats on the Brampton Board of Directors, immediately made a takeover bid, which was accepted by 90% of the Brampton shareholders. On Wednesday 15th June 1955 the last brew was made, the fact being strongly denied by the management, in the local press. The brewery was immediately stripped of fittings and put up for sale.
Various businesses occupied the brewery buildings until they were eventually demolished during August and September 1984 for the building of the B&Q store.
It is claimed that the last pub to sell Brampton Ale was the Shakespeare Inn on Saltergate (now demolished). After the take-over a major problem for Warwicks was the huge dislike locally of their beers, which together with the new detrimental tenancy agreements, forced many landlords to leave the trade and was even said to have contributed towards the suicide of two Brampton licensees. Eventually Warwicks had to brew a new beer to tempt customers back. This was called 'Impy' and was said to be as close to a Brampton mild as could be brewed at Newark. Warwicks themselves only survived until 1962 when they were taken over by John Smiths, who replaced Warwicks beers with those of the Barnsley Brewery, another Smiths acquisition of 1961. Although Brampton is fondly remembered for its draught mild (o.g. 1035), they also produced best bitter (o.g. 1043) and Extra Strong (o.g.1048). Bottled beers included: Pale Ale; Nut Brown; Golden Bud and Stout. They brewed 5 times a week (6 times at busy periods). The brew size was between 85 and 130 barrels depending on beer type and demand. Closures of pubs through licensing legislation and town redevelopment reduced the number of Brampton tied houses to around 116 at the time of being taken over. The tied estate covered a large area, the extremities being Sheffield to the north; Denby to the south; Mansfield to the east and Eyam to the west, these being concentrated mainly in colliery towns and villages rather than rural areas. The sad ending to the story of the Brampton Brewery Company is one which unfortunately has been repeated hundreds of times throughout the country. (information from www.chesterfieldcamera.org.uk)