Some history of Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries Ltd. of Park Brewery in Wolverhampton in the county of Staffordshire.


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This company was based at the Park Brewery, the home of Banks's beer. The origins of the Park Brewery at Wolverhampton go back to the mid-1870s. However, one of the founders, Thomas Banks, had established a maltings during the 1840s further out of the town at Newbridge near Tettenhall. It would appear that he first specialised as a chemist and had a shop in Darlington Street in the early 1840s.

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Related Newspaper Articles

"Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has bought a chain of pubs for more than £43 million. The brewing and pubs giant has acquired Celtic, which has 70 community pubs based mainly in South Wales, including 21 in southern England. Ralph Findlay, chief executive of the Wolverhampton-based Banks's brewer, said: "The acquisition represents good value for our share-holders. Celtic has a good quality estate which complements our existing business both operationally and geographically." Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has paid a total of £43.6 million for Celtic, of which around three-quarters is freehold, comprising 63 tenanted outlets and seven managed houses. At the end of December, Celtic's earnings before tax were more than £4 million, and it is anticipated that the deal will generate annual savings of £200,000. The Celtic head office, which employs around a dozen people in Southampton, is to close by the end of April, with the business transferred into the W&DB group."
"Banks's Buys £43 million Pubs Chain"
Express and Star : March 20th 2006 Page 1.

"Banks's brewer Marston's has bought out yet another pubs chain - the second deal to be announced in just 24 hours. The Black Country-based pubs and brewing giant revealed at its annual meeting today that it had bought Sovereign Inns, a group of 33 pubs in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, for £19.4 million. Only yesterday Marston's - which has just changed its trading name from Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries - snapped up the 135-strong Eldridge Pope pubs estate in the south of England for £155 million. Today's meeting heard that Marston's Inns and Taverns new-build programme was progressing well, with six new pub openings in Brighton, London, Hertfordshire, Cheshire, Nuneaton and Bristol. The group, which has its headquarters in Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, said it had acquired a total of 39 tenanted or leased pubs, including the Sovereign Inns chain. Chief executive Ralph Findlay said the preparations for the pending smoking ban this summer were "well advanced" in both Marston's Inns & Taverns [managed] and Marston's Pub Company [leased and tenanted] divisions." The ban will apply in Wales from April and England from July, by which time we will have invested approximately £20 million in outside areas, mainly in pub gardens and patios - facilities which are available in around 90 per cent of our pubs," he said. Marston's good start to the new financial year had continued over the Christmas and New Year trading period, with like-for-like sales in Marston's Inns & Taverns seven per cent ahead of last year in the 16 weeks to January this year. Like-for-like sales were 9.1 per cent ahead of last year in the eight weeks to November 25 last year, and in the following eight weeks to January 20 this year were 5.2 per cent ahead. Strong growth in food sales had contributed to this healthy performance. In Marston's Pub Company trading had remained good and was ahead of last year. Marston's Beer Company, the brewing arm of the business, had achieved strong volume and market share growth in premium ale against a weak beer market overall, with total beer volumes marginally below last year. Mr. Findlay said the group still planned to return around £100 million to shareholders, as well as being in the market for further acquisitions "should suitable opportunities arise."
"Marston's buys another pubs chain"
by Simon Penfold in Express and Star : March 20th 2007 Page 5.

"Hundreds of traditional West Midlands pubs are to be sold off because of the looming smoking ban, it was revealed today. Banks's brewer Marston's, the former Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, is selling around 280 of its smaller boozers for up to £70 million. And Punch Taverns is to put up to 1,000 of its pubs up for sale because of fears of falling trade when smoking in public becomes illegal. The closures will hit smaller tenanted pubs, often in town and city centres where there is no room for the development of smoking shelters in gardens. The pubs face closure unless another company is willing to take them on. It is understood Wolverhampton-based Marston's, which has a national estate of around 2,500 pubs, wants to shed pubs that may become unprofitable once the smoking ban starts. Both it and Punch Taverns, which owns around 9,300 sites, today refused to comment or confirm which pubs would be hit. The Marston's sell-off comes after a pub-buying spree over the past year or so. In January it spent £19.4 million on Sovereign Inns' 33 pubs in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, and £155 million on the 135-strong Eldridge Pope pubs estate in the south of England. The group is spending around £20 million on outside smoking areas. such as pub gardens and patios, ready for the ban. This is due to start in Wales in April, spreading to England in July. The pub sale is understood to have been placed in the hands of accountants and financial advisers Pricewaterhouse-Coopers and an asking price of between £50 million and £70 million has been put on the 280 pubs. It is thought that they may attract the interest of companies such as Admiral Taverns, Inndeed or London Town, as well as from private equity groups. Admiral Taverns is also mooted to be a prime suitor for the Punch pubs. The group bought 769 so-called "bottom-end sites" from Enterprise Inns last August for £318 million and is said to specialise in smaller community pubs. Pub trade analyst James Ainley said: "Thriving locals will continue to thrive but it's the pubs which don't have a very strong local community business or a strong food offering and are relying on a traditional more drinking, smoking customer base are the ones that could suffer."
"Hundreds of Pubs to be sold by Banks's"
Express and Star : March 22nd 2007 Page 5.

"Hanson's Mild is to be axed, ending a brewing tradition that dates back more than a century. First brewed in Dudley more than 100 years ago, the traditional dark mild has been brewed at Wolverhampton's Park Brewery since the closure of the Hanson brewery in 1991. But today it was revealed that Marston's has now written to Black Country pubs warning them it will cease brewing Hanson's Mild in April. "It follows the loss of Hanson's Bitter 12 years ago and ends a Black Country tradition started by the widow Julia Hanson more than 125 years ago. It is understood that the core of the problem is the comparatively small amount of Hanson's Mild that is sold - most of it goes to pubs in and around Dudley. Marston's has blamed quality problems for its decision to axe the beer. Real Ale group CAMRA has responded by launching an online petition as part a campaign to save the beer. It has ordered barrels of Hanson's Mild for its upcoming national conference to be held at the Civic and Wulfrun Halls in Wolverhampton. And Marston's chief executive Ralph Findlay, guest speaker at the conference, is to be presented with the petition at the event. Hanson's Mild was first brewed at the Saracen's Head in Stone Street, Dudley, in the 1870s. The pub's present landlord, Michael Wright, said the final few barrels of the mild he had in the cellars would be the last pints served of the traditional beer. "I'm really sad to see it go because it's a traditional Black Country drink that old men in the Black Country love," Mr. Wright said: "The company seems to be losing its local touch with people by scrapping the brand to give it more of a national appeal. "It wouldn't surprise me in the next few years if they move out of Wolverhampton altogether. It's taking the brand further out of the area and it is a blow for local brewers."
"End of Banks' Mild"
Express and Star : March 20th 2006 Page 1.

Banks's Fide et Fortitudine

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Wolverhampton & Dudley Pubs

Banks's Imperial Old Ale

Banks's Brown Ale Beer Mat

Banks's Resist Change Beer Mat

Banks's Draught Mild Beer Mat

Banks's Milestone Beer Mat


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