The old breweries of South Shields

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WELL we’ve had the pubs so we may as well have the brewers as well.

Or at least one of them.

This curiosity from Kevin Blair recalls the number of breweries there once were in Shields. In the first half of the 19th century there were at least six which George Hodgson lists in his history of the town: the Dean Brewery, Holborn Brewery, the High Brewery, others at the Market Place and Waterloo Vale, and the Subscription Brewery at Corporation Quay (where the Customs House is).

The latter was owned by Bell & Co, who are also the owners here of what’s described as the Ferry Brewery.

The letter, to a gentleman (business?) in Alnwick, isn’t easy to read, but it appears that there had been a problem with a cheque for £50.

It’s all phrased in the most gentlemanly of terms of course, Mr Bell writing ... “We regret having had these unpleasant dealings ...”

But then £50 in those days would be worth nearer £2,500, so it wasn’t an insignificant amount of money that was at issue.

Then as now, obviously, cash flow was what kept many a concern afloat.