History of Cheltenham Original Brewery Ltd. of Cheltenham in the county of Gloucestershire

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Some history of Cheltenham Original Brewery Ltd.

The story of this company can be traced back to 1760 when the Gardner family starting brewing in Cheltenham. John Gardner developed the business and it became one of the town's important employers. John Gardner was reported to be a man of intense energy and of fertile resource. He became a partner in the group that formed the County of Gloucester Bank, which later became part of Lloyd's Bank.

John Gardner enlarged the brewery in 1834 but died two years later, leaving his property to his widow and his nephew James Agg. Under the terms of the will, James Agg assumed, by Royal Licence, the name of Gardner in addition to his original name. It was his son James Tynt Agg-Gardner who controlled the brewery during the large growth period of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He however pursued a political career, leaving the management of the brewery to George Saxton Hopcraft.

It was in April 1888 that James Tynt Agg-Gardner converted his business, which at the time was the largest brewery in the country owned by a single individual, into a limited liability company. Accordingly, with capital of £220,000, the Cheltenham Original Brewery was registered to acquire the business of the Conservative Member of Parliament. As a parting gift to his employees he presented each with a month's salary or wage. He retained a large interest in the company and, with George Hopcraft as managing director, he remained the Chairman until his death in 1928. He was knighted in 1916, and appointed as a Privy Councillor in 1924. When he died at the aged of 81 he was the oldest serving Member of Parliament.

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The company suffered a major setback in June 1897 when a large portion of the brewery's premises was destroyed by a fire that originated in the hop room. The fire spread quickly and it took the fire brigade more than six hours to bring it under control. A great quantity of stock was destroyed, but the offices, malt houses, and the stables were saved. The damage was estimated at around £50,000. This was followed by the disclosure that two of the company's officials had swindled large sums of money from the business.

Messrs. William Bradford and Sons, a noted architectural firm specialising in brewery buildings, were commissioned to design a new tower brewery for the company. William Bradford was highly influential in the decorative brewery style that pervaded for many years. A strong emphasis was placed upon a fire-proof construction! The new complex consisted of a two-storey copper house with a pyramidal roof and a square chimney to the rear. Constructed with red brick and stone dressings, a five-storey brewhouse was erected. A new cooler house was required as was a replacement tun house. These were supplemented by a new bottling facility.

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Like most large regional breweries, the Cheltenham Original Brewery proceeded with a number of takeovers in the late Victorian era and continued until the post-war years. In 1898 they took over the locally-based Albion Steam Brewery of Stibbs & Co. Ten years later the company acquired the Nailsworth Brewery. Immediately following the First World War they mopped up the Stow Brewery, Ledbury's Vine Brewery and the Cotswold Brewery at Northleach. In 1924 the company acquired Arnold, Perrett & Co. Ltd. of Wickwar. Three years later the Evesham brewery of Sladden and Collier Ltd., was acquired. Wintle's Brewery Ltd., based at the Forest Steam Brewery at Mitcheldean was also snapped up in 1930.

1934 was a particularly successful and profitable year for the company. The annual meeting of the shareholders was held at the Fleece Hotel in Cheltenham and the report shows the people involved in the running of the firm. Lieut. Colonel A. H. Hudson, was Chairman of the Directors, who were Mr. A. S. Cavell, Mr. A. Neame, Mr. W. S. Swinscow, Mr. A. T. Halsey, Mr. H. Smith, Mr. A. N. Trimmer and the managing director George Hopcraft. The secretary of the company was Mr. W. A. Lambert.

George Paxton Hopcraft remained as managing director until his death in 1936. He was also managing director of Messrs. Arnold, Perrett & Co., and Wintle's Brewery, and a director of the Gloucester Cider Company and Messrs. Joseph Karn and Son. Note that these were companies acquired by the Cheltenham Original Brewery. George Hopcraft was born in Brackley in Northamptonshire but prior to joining the Cheltenham Original Brewery had worked as a head brewer in Canterbury.

The company's name changed to the Cheltenham and Hereford Breweries in 1947, two years after the acquisition of the Hereford and Tredegar Brewery Ltd. The company, trading as Cheltenham Brewery Holdings Ltd., merged with the Stroud Brewery in 1958 to form West Country Breweries Ltd. The brewery, along with a tied estate of almost 1,300 public houses was acquired by Whitbread in 1963. The brewery at Cheltenham would eventually become a production centre for the Flower's brand of beers owned by Whitbread. Production ceased in 1998.

Cheltenham Original Brewery

Newspaper Articles

"Astounding disclosures were made at the annual meeting of shareholders in the Cheltenham Original Brewery Company held at Cheltenham yesterday. Fourteen months ago the brewery was burned to the ground, and a new building has been erected, but during the past financial year the company had to supply customers with beer purchased from other breweries. Such trade could not be carried on at a profit, and the directors could declare no dividend. Another reason for this unfavourable position of the company was explained by the chairman, Mr A. G. G. Gardner, who stated that they had recently discovered two old and trusted officials had, by collusion, robbed the company to a very great extent, the defalcations extending over a period of six years. A stormy discussion followed, the directors, secretary, and auditors being trenchantly criticised, and the method of business which could allow defalcations to so long remain undiscovered severely condemned. Pressed for an answer, the chairman stated the investigations were not yet concluded, but as far as yet ascertained the loss to the company was about £3000. It is believed that the sum is additional to the amount covered by the Guarantee Society. As the frauds were discovered three months ago it is presumed that the directors will not prosecute, a course which locally has aroused great indignation."
"Robbed By Trusted Servants"
Gloucestershire Echo : December 10th 1898 Page 5.

"The Cheltenham Original Brewery Company announced an extraordinary general meeting for the purpose of sanctioning agreement for amalgamation with the Nailsworth Brewery Company. The object of the amalgamation is stated to be to strengthen the position of both companies. The directors of the Cheltenham company are satisfied that the proposed amalgamation will be advantageous to the shareholders, their brewery buildings and plant being sufficiently capacious to cope with more than the combined output of the two companies. Some of the largest shareholders, it is stated, have been already consulted, and have expressed approval of the scheme. The resolutions to be submitted at the special meeting are [1] that the capital of the Original Brewery Company be increased to £220,000 by the creation of 20,000 shares of £5 each, whereof 10,000 shall be preference shares, ranking equally in all respects with the preference shares in the original capital, and 10,000 ordinary, and that such shares be issued and allotted to the Nailsworth Brewery Company, or the liquidator, or members, fully paid, in consideration of the transfer of the property of the Nailsworth Company; [2] that the directors be authorised to take a transfer of the Nailsworth Company, subject to mortgages for £19,800, and to debentures for £35,000, and to the current debts and liabilities of that company, and to issue debentures in exchange for the £35,000 debentures mentioned; and [3] that Messrs. Alan Neame and W. S. Swinscow, two of the Nailsworth directors, be appointed directors of the Cheltenham Company. The Cheltenham Original Brewery Company had, according to the last issued balance-sheet, a share capital of £120,000 and £175,000 debentures. No dividend was paid for the past year."
"Cheltenham and Nailsworth Brewery Companies"
Cheltenham Chronicle : April 4th 1908 Page 2.

"An extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders the Cheltenham Original Brewery Company was held on Wednesday morning, under the presidency of Mr. J. T. Agg-Gardner [chairman of the directors], for the purpose of sanctioning the amalgamation of the company with the Nailsworth Brewery Co. Ltd. The other directors present were Mr. R. Ticehurst, Col. Hudson, and Mr. Berkeley, with Mr. Hopcraft [manager]. Mr. Nation [secretary], and Mr. A. H. Wyatt [solicitor]. The Chairman thought they would all agree that when two industrial undertakings of the same nature were operating in the same district a combination must result in an economy of administration. Savings were necessarily to be effected in salaries, and, speaking generally, in the cost of administration. But in the case of a brewery amalgamation like that they were proposing there would be an additional profit to be derived from substituting the difference between complete instead of partial employment of their plant. They proposed to carry on the brewing trade on the Cheltenham premises. This would be with the consent of the Nailsworth directors, two of whom, gentlemen of practical experience, would join their board, and were satisfied that the proposals made would prove be profitable. There was ample accommodation in Cheltenham, and with the exception of the cost of a few new vessels no additional expense would be incurred. The fact was that when they rebuilt after the disastrous fire of 1898 they were living in days of expanding trade, and were in negotiation for the absorption of another brewery in the neighbourhood. The negotiations, however, fell through, and the days of expanding trade gave way to a period of contracted trade. Consequently they were in a position, without any serious alteration to their plant, to duplicate the trade they had had to deal with during the past few years. When the brewery was rebuilt it was filled with all the best and most recent improvements, and had been pronounced by experts to be one of the most complete breweries in the West of England. Turning to questions of capital, the Chairman said the capital of the companies in their separate capacities was as follows: Cheltenham - 4 per cent. debentures, £175,000; share capital, divided into £60,000 preference and £60,000 ordinary; total, £295,000. Nailsworth - 4½ per cent, debenture issue, £35,000; 4½ per cent, mortgages, £19,800; preference shares, £45,000; ordinary shares, £35,000; total, £134,800. But it was agreed that the Nailsworth company should be increased in respect of their preference shares by the addition of 1,000 5 per cent, shares on £5,000 nominal capital, raising the value of the preference capital to £50.000; and the ordinary share capital 3,000 shares £5 each, or £15,000, raising its value to £50,000. The total capital therefore of the Nailsworth Company would be £154,000. The reason for this was that whereas since the period of the formation of the Nailsworth Company the dividend on the ordinary shares had been 11 per cent, per annum, those of the Cheltenham Company during a period of twenty years they had been 5 per cent. It was clear, therefore, that some premium was due to the Nailsworth Company, and on careful calculation they had come to the conclusion that the premium proposed was just and fair, and it had been so accepted by the Nailsworth Company. They estimated that on the basis of the total capital standing to the credit of the united companies they would be able make a dividend of 5 per cent, per annum. They estimated that the Cheltenham revenue would be £13,000, and the Nailsworth revenue £8,000 [after defraying fixed charges, including preference dividend], to divide as a dividend of 5 per cent, on the ordinary share capital. They hoped, of course, to be able to derive further advantages in the reduction of salaries, wages, and upkeep of the Nailsworth Brewery [which would cease to exist], on horses, wagons, and other items. In this way they estimated to make a reduction of expenditure of £3,000 to £4,000, which would enable them to add another 1 per cent. to the dividend and to lay the foundation for what he was sure they all desired - a substantial reserve fund. There was another point in favour of the amalgamation, viz. that the licensed houses of the Cheltenham Company were situated for the most part in Cheltenham and the neighbouring towns, whereas those of the Nailsworth Company were for the most part in country districts, and were in many cases the only licensed houses in the village. In case of any scheme of license reduction, the loss would therefore be felt less by the amalgamated company than a company running singly. As regarded general distribution capital, he thought it might be claimed that in that respect also the amalgamation showed an improvement, for whereas at the present time the proportion of share capital to debenture in the Cheltenham Company was as that of two-fifths, under the amalgamation scheme it would stand at the full amount. Since the close of the last financial year the position of the Cheltenham Company had undergone considerable improvement. The forecast of the new arrangements under Mr. Hopcraft had been fulfilled, and he was pleased to announce that they were able to recommend an interim dividend on the ordinary shares of 3 per cent., or 1½ per cent, for the six months, which they proposed to pay within the next fortnight. That was of course satisfactory in view of the necessity they were under, to pass without a dividend, on the ordinary shares last December. He had received a letter from a large shareholder, Mr. Greene, K.C., who commented the amalgamation the best that could be adopted for both companies. Later the Chairman stated that the number of houses to be taken over from the Nailsworth Co. was eighty freehold and sixteen leasehold, and they had no knowledge of any the Nailsworth Company's houses being threatened in the recent licensing sessions. It was, of course, impossible to predict, should the Licensing Bill pass in its present form, what havoc it might commit on brewery prospects in general. To do as much mischief possible to the licensed trade was clearly the object of the Bill, and if it were passed in its present form they could not say what the result would be. The question of temperance, under the guise of which the Bill was introduced, had not weighed very considerably in its composition. Though a mechanical majority might force the Bill through the House of Commons, there was the House of Lords beyond that; and if by any mischance it went through the House of Lords, he thought they might safely rely upon the sense of justice which, in spite of partisanship, still survived in the British electorate. They need not, therefore, allow the consideration the Licensing Bill to enter into the question of the amalgamation scheme. For his own part, as a fairly large shareholder in the Cheltenham Company, and one connected with it by the ties of sentiment well as of pecuniary interest, he regarded the amalgamation proposals as both sound and sensible, and trusted they might receive the unanimous support of the shareholders. He then formally proposed "That the capital of the company be increased to £220,000 by the creation of 20,000 new shares of £5 each, whereof 10,000 shall be preference shares, ranking equally in all respects with the preference shares the original capital, and 10,000 shall be ordinary shares ranking equally in all respects with the ordinary shares in the original capital, and that such shares be issued and allotted to the Nailsworth Brewery Company Limited, or the liquidator or members thereof as fully paid in consideration of the transfer of the property and undertaking of the said Nailsworth Company to this company." Mr. R. Ticehurst seconded. He said that at first he was not anxious to see the amalgamation. Since they had had their new manager things had been getting into a great deal better order, and they were only just working into smooth water after having made considerable changes in the management. An amalgamation meant a certain amount of upsetting again for six months. But having gone very fully into the question, he was convinced that the amalgamation would be to the mutual benefit of the two companies. The staff of the present brewery at Cheltenham would, with a very little addition, be adequate to turn out all the beer required to supply the customers of both companies, and that quite as conveniently as from Nailsworth. They had been met by the Nailsworth directors in the most open manner, and believed the amalgamation would be to the satisfaction and advantage of both companies. Mr. H. A. Thomas did not think that the present Cheltenham shareholders' prospects would be improved except in the general prospects of the company, because the Nailsworth brewery seemed to be very heavily mortgaged, especially under the circumstances of its being closed and thus only worth the ordinary building value. It was subject to mortgages of £54,000, and he suspected that the Nailsworth brewery property was not worth more than that amount, so that the new mortgage debentures would be floating charges on the whole company. Therefore he did not think the preference shareholders' position could show any benefit for a very long time. Mr. W. Barron, as an individual with something to sell and something to buy, wanted to know what he was getting for his money. The chairman really had not satisfied him that they were receiving a quid pro quo. He believed that in the case of the Nailsworth Company their larger dividend had really been paid out of the capital by dividing up to the hilt and not providing for the necessary depreciation - which was really running down their capital. He thought, therefore, that they were giving too high a price for the tied houses of the Company. He would have preferred waiting a little longer to see the results their new managership. The Chairman mentioned that he had omitted to state that amongst the expenses in connection with amalgamation were one or two pensions to directors and staff and others in connection with the Nailsworth Brewery, totalling £1,500. Mr. Lake, a large shareholder, whose opinion as expert always carries great weight at the meetings of the company, referred with great satisfaction to the improving position of the Cheltenham Company irrespective of the amalgamation. He honestly confessed that, like Mr. Barron, would have preferred waiting little longer and seeing the result of a whole year's working, for he was quite sure it would be an agreeable surprise. But he did not think this feeling must be allowed stand in the way of what seemed to be a real opportunity; and assured the shareholders there had been no hurry in the negotiations. The terms he regarded as exceedingly fair to both companies. They must not expect too much from the amalgamation during the first six months, for it would necessarily incur expenses. The motion was agreed to nemine dissentiente. The Chairman next moved as follows "That the directors be and they are hereby authorised to take a transfer and conveyance of the property and undertaking the said Nailsworth Company, subject to mortgages for £19,800 and to debentures for £35,000 and to the current debts and liabilities of that company, and to issue debentures of this company in exchange for the said debentures for £35,000, notwithstanding that the total amount due from the company together with the debentures already issued by the company will exceed £200,000. That Messrs. Alan Neame and William Sprague Swinscow, two of the directors of the Nailsworth Company, be and they are hereby appointed directors of the company, such appointment to take effect as from the completion of the said transfer and conveyance." This was duly seconded and agreed to. A vote of thanks to the chairman, proposed Mr. Lake and seconded by Mr. Barron, was carried with applause, and, replying thereto, the Chairman warmly acknowledged the aid rendered the company by Mr. Lake. He also mentioned that Mr. C. E. Barnett, one of the directors of the company, was unable to be present, but was fully in accord with the scheme."
"Cheltenham and Nailsworth Breweries Combine"
Cheltenham Chronicle : April 18th 1908 Page 2.

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"A merger with the Hereford and Tredegar Brewery Ltd., to provide an economical basis for post-war expansion, was agreed to by the members of the Cheltenham Original Brewery Co., Ltd., at an extraordinary general meeting following the ordinary general meeting held at the Star Hotel, Cheltenham, on Thursday. It was unanimously agreed, for the furtherance of this plan, to increase the capital of the Company to £850,000 by the creation of 150,000 new ordinary shares of £1. Mr. E. L. D. Lake was in the chair, and the following directors were present: Messrs. H. W. Lake, W. S. Swinscow, J. B. Till, A. N. Trimmer [managing director]; and V. H. Collier [assistant managing director], with Mr. W. Dyer, secretary. Of the proposed amalgamation, the Chairman said he did not think that he could recommend more strongly than he did its acceptance. "It is true," he said, "that there are advantages on both sides - that is desirable. There is no doubt that the shareholders of Hereford and Tredegar are going to get material advantage from being associated with a firm as financially strong as this business is today. On the other hand, we are going to get considerable advantages from that amalgamation. "I do not know," he continued, "what the prosperity of this country is going to be after the war. I am full of confidence and I have no doubt about this, that, if the brewing trade is going to continue to prosper, there is no part of the country in which the prospects are brighter than they are down here. "Therefore. I hope that, in the future, it will be possible and will be necessary for us to make considerable extensions. "There are very few breweries of this size in the country where it is so difficult, if not impossible, to extend as it is here in Cheltenham, owing to the difficulties of the site. "At Hereford we shall have a magnificent site and ample opportunity, if the occasion demands, to extend. "If, unhappily, it should prove that things are not as bright as they are today, then, unquestionably, we shall have opportunity to economise by brewing at one brewery, instead of at the two at Hereford." On the Chairman's proposition, seconded by Mr. Trimmer, it was unanimously agreed to increase the capital of the Company, as mentioned above. The ordinary meeting was opened with a suitable reference by the Chairman to the Prime Minister on his birthday that day. The Chairman, moving the adoption of the report and balance-sheet recommending a final dividend of 10 per cent, which, with the interim dividend of 5 per cent, made 15 per cent for the year, referred to the increasing labour problem, and said that unless some help were forthcoming they would have to reduce their output. "The production of hops is causing serious alarm," he said. "It is to be hoped that the Ministry of Agriculture will sanction an increase in the acreage. "Malting labour is very difficult to obtain, and production of malt is considerably short of our requirements. "Unless labour is speedily provided we shall have to cut down our supplies." "The demand for beer for our troops overseas has largely increased. This is a demand which we are most anxious to meet to the best of our ability, and I am sure the public will agree, even if it entails a curtailment of their own supplies." The Chairman then praised the staff for their loyalty and expressed the hope that before the next meeting they would have welcomed back to their employment some of those now serving. He then referred feelingly to those who had resigned from the Board owing to ill health and to the further loss through the death of Mr. A. T. Halsey. A further reference was to the resignation the former secretary, Mr. W. A. Lambert, after 51 years' service, to his successor, Mr. W. Dyer. Mr. Swinscow seconded, and the report and balance-sheet were unanimously adopted. The Chairman moved the re-election of his brother, Mr. H. W. Lake, and of Mr. J. B. Till, to the Board and paid tribute to both. Mr. Till, he said, was too well known to require any introduction; his brother, not so well known to them, was recommended because of his very great experience not only the brewing trade but in Law as well. Mr Collier seconded and the motion was carried with acclamation, Messrs. Lake and Till suitably replying. On the motion Mr. Swinscow, seconded by Mr. Trimmer, Messrs Collier and Hopcraft were re-elected directors. The joint auditors were re-elected, and, on the proposition of Mr. Lambert, the Chairman was accorded a hearty vote of thanks. The meeting concluded with another tribute by the Chairman to the staff and his view that, although the Company's beer might not be up to pre-war standards, it did compare very favourably with other products which he sampled from time to time during the course of his wanderings."
"Cheltenham Brewery's Expansion"
Gloucestershire Echo : December 1st 1944 Page 3.

"Cheltenham Original Brewery Co., Ltd., changed its name to the Cheltenham and Hereford Brewery Co., Ltd., at an extraordinary meeting of its shareholders on Tuesday. The meeting learned that it was intended to wind up voluntarily the Hereford and Tredegar Brewery, in which the Cheltenham Company has had a controlling interest since 1945, and to incorporate its assets with those of the Cheltenham Company. Far-reaching future developments in the progress of the Company were spoken of by Mr. A. N. Trimmer, the managing-director, who presided. He announced that both the breweries operating in Hereford City were now owned by the Cheltenham Company. "One day, when a building licence is forthcoming, we intend to brew in the one brewery, that which is now in use by the Hereford and Tredegar Brewery, but we cannot do so until we have made certain alterations and additions there," he announced. He explained that one of the reasons which actuated the Board of Directors in purchasing the assets of the Hereford and Tredegar Brewery Ltd. was the fact that the brewery was built on a fine site, and would allow for expansion, whereas in Cheltenham and at the City Brewery at Hereford there were restricted sites, and a point had been reached when no further expansion was practicable in either case. For the immediate present, Mr. Trimmer explained, the two Hereford breweries would continue running, but the two offices were being amalgamated. There could be no doubt that to incorporate the name "Hereford" into the title was desirable as the people at Hereford would feel that they had their own brewery in their own city. The change was a matter that had to be considered from many angles including the fact that the Cheltenham Brewery Company had traded for many years under its present title - it was incorporated in 1888 - and was established as long ago as 1760 when it started as a private firm. The "Echo" is informed that brewing will continue at Cheltenham, as in the past, and that the Hereford proposal will affect only the brewing in that city."
"New Name for Cheltenham Brewery"
Gloucestershire Echo : September 17th 1947 Page 5.

Genealogy Connections

If you have a genealogy story or query regarding Gloucester Original Brewery Ltd. you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Gloucestershire Genealogy.

"Hello, very interesting page! I was searching around about the brewery to see if it was still there. But also out of curiosity to find out about what kind of chemicals one might be exposed to being around a brewery for any length of time.  I went to Pates School way back in the 70's and will never forget that strong smell of the brewery, especially on a windy day! What fond memories I have of Cheltenham and the whole area! Thank you for your page and the info!"

Karen McMahon, Edgewater, Maryland, USA

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"When the pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, landed at Plymouth rock, the first permanent building put up was the brewery."
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Newspaper Articles

"The Cheltenham Original Brewery has always been associated with the biggest organised trip of the year locally. It has always, too, been well done, and for that reason has enjoyed an uninterrupted run of popularity. The seaside has been the invariable rendezvous, with an occasional visit to London, as was the case last year, when Wembley made its appeal, but this year quite a new departure was made, and consequent upon the amalgamation with Wickwar and Hereford advantage was taken to make the outing a united one for the Cheltenham and Hereford breweries, and also for the employees of the various stores at Lydney, Cinderford, Ledbury, and Nailsworth. The choice of Birdlip, therefore, was a very happy one, and enabled the Company to bring their employees together under auspices which made for a most successful gathering. With the development of road motor transport, Birdlip has become an extremely popular resort of recent years, and the number of visitors there this summer has been exceptionally large. The party on Saturday was somewhere in the region of 350. Several charabancs were engaged, but the bulk of the party were conveyed there in taxis, and some twenty-six of these were employed a useful turn was done to the local drivers. They did their work very expeditiously and well. Dunalley Street, where the Brewery garage is situated, was between twelve and one o'clock the scene of considerable animation. The trippers wore blue and red badges, which entitled them to participation in all the facilities provided by the Company, and the first to leave were those possessing the red badges. These began to depart at noon, and at 12.45 the wearers of the blue badges commenced to depart. With Mr. Edward Hopcraft in charge of the transport arrangements, everything worked with admirable regularity, and by half-past one the entire party had been safely landed at Birdlip. It was a glorious day, with the sun tempered by a refreshing breeze, and the party were able, thanks to the thoughtful arrangement of the Company, to fortify themselves with light refreshments before abandoning themselves to the programme of amusement which began at two o'clock. Everything possible had been done to give enjoyment to everyone, and an abundance of variety was imparted into the afternoon's and evening's entertainment. Worked strictly according to time-table, the events included a cricket match, athletic sports, a concert, a dinner in a marquee, and dancing, besides various side shows and short motor trips. It was a most attractive and comprehensive programme, and the success with which it was carried through was a tribute to the admirable arrangements made by Mr. G. P. Hopcraft and Messrs A. N. Trimmer, J. B. Till, and R. F. Woodhouse. Nothing could have exceeded the attentiveness and the courtesy with which the general comfort of the party was looked after, both by the gentlemen named and by Mr. Harry Waghorne and the staff of the Royal George Hotel, who, with the heavy tax on their resources, worked laboriously to provide the best possible service. In addition to the beautiful grounds of the hotel, the party had the use of the field adjoining for cricket and sports. The cricket was to have resolved itself into a match between the Staffs and Breweries, with 14 aside, but although it opened with a good deal of promise and good humoured banter on the part of some of the more mirthful of the spectators, it failed to sustain its interest, for when 2.45 the sports began there was general desire to participate in them, and the wickets were deserted. The sports held greater magnetism because there were valuable prizes be won, and an attractive collection of pipes, etc., made a special appeal to the men. There were nice prizes, also, to be won by the ladies. Mr. H. W. Mead took charge, and the events provided a good deal of interest and amusement. The band of the 5th Battalion Gloucester Regiment discoursed a popular programme of music, and between and 4.45 and 5.30 a delightful concert was given on the lawn by Mr. Tom Hay's company. This was really one of the most entertaining features of the afternoon, and the audience showed warm appreciation of the items presented Tom Hay, Frank Trigg, Sid Capener, and Will Pritchard, with Charles Shaw at the piano. The comedy was excellent, and the ventriloquial sketch by Mr. Pritchard was particularly enjoyable. Punch and Judy was another attraction, and the coconut shies [in charge of Mr. Hambling] and the bowling for a live nig [in charge of Mr. Arnold] contributed much to the general round of amusement. A welcome visitor during the afternoon was the Right Hon. Sir James T. Agg-Gardner P.C., M.P. He was given a very cordial reception. At 6 o'clock the party repaired to the large marquee for dinner. The tables had a festive appearance, and the meal provided was a very substantial and satisfying one. The chair was taken by Mr. G. P. Hopcraft, with whom was Mrs. Hopcraft, Mr. W A. Lambert, Mr George Smith [Hereford], Mr. Arthur Smith [Gloucester], Mr. and Mrs. Trimmer, Mr. and Mrs. Boyce, Mr. Till, Mr. Woodhouse, etc. The speeches were very brief, and were confined to two toasts - the toast of "The King" and "Success to the Company." Capt, Karn, in proposing "Success to the Company," remarked that one of the things the late war taught them was the spirit of team work, and in a Company like theirs they had the opportunity of working together as a team for one end - the prosperity of all concerned. All present were responsible to a certain extent for the success of the Company, and in asking them to drink to the toast he coupled with it the name Mr. Hopcraft. Responding, Mr. Hopcraft commented on the great success that had attended this united gathering, and said was all to the good that they should occasionally meet together this way. It had been a pleasure to them meet those from Hereford and Wickwar, and those from Ledbury and other places, and that pleasure had been enhanced by the fact that their revered chairman [the Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Agg-Gardner, P.C., M.P.] had been able to come up and see them [applause]. Sir James's spirit of duty they all knew. It was one of those things that made Sir James the popular figure he was today in the political, social, and business world, and they owed him a debt of gratitude. They were also pleased to have Mr. Cavell with them that afternoon. He thought they would all agree that it had been a most enjoyable gathering, and its success was entirely due to the stewards - Mr. Trimmer. Mr. Woodhouse, and Mr. Till - and those gentlemen on the various committees who had worked so hard [applause]. The company gave hearty cheers for these gentlemen and the committee. The prizes were afterwards presented on the lawn by Mrs. Hopcraft, and the concert by Mr. Tom Hay's party was resumed, after which there was dancing on the lawn. Except for a brief shower of rain in the evening, the weather held pleasantly fine, and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The conveyances left for home at 10 p.m."
"Cheltenham Brewery Outing"
Cheltenham Chronicle : July 25th 1925 Page 6.