Julia Hanson & Sons Ltd.
By the end of the decade Thomas Hanson had formed a partnership with William Hughes, a local pub owner and maltster. Together they traded as Hughes and Hanson. When Thomas Hanson died his wife Julia took charge of the business and moved to premises in Upper Tower Street. Her sons William and Thomas worked in two of the company's pubs to gain valuable experience.
Julia Hanson died at the age of 78 in 1874 and her sons took over the family concern. Within 12 months they acquired the old Peacock Hotel and Brewery in Dudley's Upper High Street. They redeveloped the site in 1897 and five years later registered as Julia Hanson & Sons Ltd. By this time the company had an extensive tied estate of almost 100 pubs throughout the Black Country.
William Hanson succeeded his older brother Thomas as managing director following his death in May 1919. Soon after this the company acquired the brewery and tied estate of the Kidderminster brewer Frederick Tandy. In the following decade Hanson's bought out Smith and Williams and gained a further 60 public houses that opened new markets in Staffordshire and Worcestershire. The company were however bought out themselves by Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries Ltd. in 1943.
W&DB had steadily bought shares in Hanson's before they gained a controlling
interest in 1943. It was not the end of Hanson's. The brewery and pubs retained
a degree of autonomy and the Hanson's livery can still be found on many of the
old boozers. Sadly however, the brewery closed in the early 1990's and
production was moved to
Wolverhampton. The brewery's site was cleared for a supermarket - and Dudley
has never smelled the same again.