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Newbury Mineral Water Company

Bottled water was being produced in Newbury in the 1860s.

Jackie Markham

Reporter:

Jackie Markham

Kings Road West was home to Newbury Mineral Water Company

Pictured is the premises of the Newbury Mineral Water Company in Kings Road West, in 1981.

The company was next door to another popular Newbury watering hole, the Borough Arms, which can be seen on the right of our 1981 photo.

Founded in 1860, the firm was one of the oldest businesses in Newbury. Originally called the Great Western Mineral Water Works, it was started by Edward Cox on premises in Cheap Street, upon which the old Newbury Public Library came to be built in 1905.

The company moved further along Cheap Street to the spot where the Carlton Cinema once stood.  These premises were known as the Diamond Brewery with a public bar at the front, factory at the back and beer- bottling plant underneath in the vaults.  The site is now home to the Wetherspoon’s The Diamond Tap.

Later the firm moved to Mill Lane then in the early 1920s to the premises in King’s Road West, when Finn’s Brewery and the neighbouring Borough Arms were sold to Usher’s, who retained the pub.

The chairman and managing director of Newbury Water Mineral Water Company was a Mr Selman, who had joined the company on leaving the RAF in 1946. Mr Selman kept a collection of old bottles of all shapes and sizes which had been used for the firm’s products over the years, including an early ginger beer bottle manufactured by Denby Pottery, in dark brown stone.

The site is now used for housing.

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