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West Berks breweries' important role in economic development for over 300 years



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A new exhibition focuses on West Berkshire's brewing history.

West Berkshire Museum's ‘Barrels and Bottles’, opens on Wednesday. This is the Wharf Street museum’s first new exhibition of the year and will share with visitors the story of brewing in West Berkshire, from home brewing to local industry. The exhibition looks at the tools and methods used, the families involved with brewing and the impact on local residents, buildings and the economy.

Visitors will be able to see historic objects from the museum collection created or used in the brewing industry including bottles, barrels, crates and memorabilia. There will also be photographs and documents illustrating the breweries at different time periods. The museum has welcomed support in its research from volunteers and community experts, who have helped in the development of the panels and labels.

A photographic postcard showing horses and wagons loaded with barrels of beer from Newbury Street Brewery. NEBYM:2015.6.550. Image courtesy of West Berkshire Museum
A photographic postcard showing horses and wagons loaded with barrels of beer from Newbury Street Brewery. NEBYM:2015.6.550. Image courtesy of West Berkshire Museum

The council's executive member for culture Howard Woollaston said: “The fascinating history of brewing in West Berkshire indicates how varied and enterprising our local industries have been. Breweries have played an important role in the economic development of the district for over 300 years. Both I and our Heritage Champion, councillor James Cole, look forward to visiting this wonderful new exhibition.’

The exhibition can be seen during the usual opening hours, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm. For further information, please call 01635 519532 or email Museum@westberks.gov.uk. Visit www.westberkshireheritage.org/whats-on to see our full programme of exhibitions and events.

If you find the museum show fascinating, read last year's @newburytoday feature on Newbury bottle collectors and the Victorian tip in Faraday Road that threw up many hidden treasures.

Roy Young
Roy Young

'Roy Young developed a keen interest in history and collecting old bottles. When he moved to Thatcham in the 1970s, “...someone asked me if I knew about the old Victorian dump in Newbury on the London Road”. He went to look and started to dig and "it was amazing”.'

https://www.newburytoday.co.uk/lifestyle/a-victorian-tip-in-faraday-road-newbury-threw-up-many-hidden-treasures-from-days-gone-by-9189301/



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