Marston, Thompson & Evershed Ltd.
J. Marston & Son was founded in 1834 by John Marston who had acquired the malthouse of Coat's Brewery in order to expand his brewing business. In 1846 the business passed to his second son John Hackett Marston who, along with his two brothers, William and Henry, continued to develop the firm. From 1864 the company was based at the extensive Horninglow Brewery near Burton-on-Trent. William Marston left the business in 1861 and four years later Henry Marston died, leaving John Hackett Marston in sole charge of the company. In the late 1870s he entered into a partnership with William Wayte and Richard Adrian Eddie but in September 1885 this was dissolved and the firm was once again in the sole interest of John Marston.
John Marston retired in 1888 and he spent his later years at Hilton Cottage on Etwall Road where he lived with his sister Anne along with cousin Mary Pegg. On his retirement in 1888 he sold the company to Henry Emmanuel Sugden, a former managing partner of the High Street brewing firm of J. Nunnely & Co. Two years later the firm absorbed another brewery in the High Street when the firm of John Yeomans was acquired. During the 1890s the company made acquisitions in Burton, Hinckley and Coventry, thus expanding their estate of tied houses.
In 1898 J. Marston and Son merged with John Thompson & Son Ltd. By this time the directors of J. Marston and Son were Henry Emmanuel Sugden, Alfred Henry Yeomans, and Frederick Hurdle. The directors of John Thompson & Son Ltd. were Francis Thompson and F.G.S. Holbrooke. Thompson's had been in business for more than a century, the firm having been established by John Thompson of the Bear Inn on Horninglow Street in Burton-on-Trent. The combined venture had acquired a 79-year lease of the Albion Brewery in Shobnall at a time when it was capable of producing over 92,000 barrels per annum.
The Shobnall facility had been built in 1875 by Mann, Crossman and Paulin but, following scientific advances in brewing by which the company claimed they could replicate the water found at Burton, they concentrated their production back to London. The Albion name had been transferred from the company's site at Whitechapel Road. With additional improvements undertaken in 1898 production capability was increased to more than 100,000 barrels per annum.
In 1905 the company acquired Sydney Evershed Ltd. to become Marston, Thompson & Evershed. Evershed's was founded in 1854 and based at the Bank Brewery in Bank Square. The company gradually expanded during the 20th century.
In 1984 a major expansion into the Cheshire and North Wales markets was made when they acquired Border Breweries [Wrexham] Ltd. The Albion Brewery was the only remaining production plant that had retained the Burton Union system of fermentation - for its stronger ales at least. This is a series of large oak casks which are linked by pipes so that the fermenting beer rises from the casks through vertical pipes under the pressure of its carbon dioxide. It then flows through a swan's neck into an open trough that extends the entire length of the casks. The beer then runs back down into the casks, leaving the yeast in the top trough. Beer and yeast circulate through the unions in this way, at a carefully controlled temperature, until fermentation is complete.
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Related Newspaper Articles
"Yesterday morning a very shocking accident, attended by fatal consequences, occurred at the brewery of Messrs. Mann, Crossman, and Paulin,
Shobnall Road. At about eleven o'clock one of the brewery employees named Alfred Biddulph, twenty years of age, was emerging from a building, the doors of which face
the line of rails that run through the yard, when he was caught by one of a number of trucks that were just then being shunted and crushed between it and the wall.
Assistance was immediately rendered to the unfortunate man, and he was quickly placed upon a stretcher for the purpose of being conveyed to the infirmary, but so
severe were the injuries he had sustained that he expired before he could be removed from the yard."
"Fatal Accident at Shobnall Brewery"
Burton Chronicle : June 23rd 1892 Page 5
"A Burton man sustained serious injuries at Messrs. Marston, Thompson and Evershed's brewery today. The injured man is Mr. E. Smith,
aged 53, of Morley Hill. He was working on a ladder when he fell a distance of 15 feet, fracturing the base of his skull. He also fractured three fingers on the right
hand. He was taken the Burton Infirmary and detained."
"Burton Brewery Accident"
Derby Daily Telegraph : March 16th 1929 Page 7