Pick up a slice of history

CAMRA’s National Breweriana Auction, the 37th, will be held on Saturday 21 October 2023 in the Town Hall in Burton on Trent. Ever fancied owning a slice of brewing history? If so, this auction is just the thing for you. It is organised by CAMRA’s Games & Collectables section and will feature around 150 lots, including everything from mirrors to trays, advertising signs, water jugs, flagons, bottles, books and pump clips, plus a few more unusual items. The auction is great fun to take part in and gives you the opportunity to acquire some great bargains, many of which can appreciate in value. In addition, to add to the atmosphere at this wonderful Grade II-listed Victorian venue, there will be a number of stands selling brewery memorabilia and, like any CAMRA event, there will be some good beer from a local brewery on sale all day.

There will be several items from London, including brewery signs from Fuller’s and Watney Combe Reid. Fuller’s were set up in 1845 although it is believed that there has been brewing on the Chiswick site for over 350 years. Although Asahi took over the brewery in 2019, brewing still continues. The Watney’s item commemorates the Stag Brewery in Pimlico, originally founded by William Greene in 1641, taken over by James Watney in 1858 and then by Grand Metropolitan in 1972 who closed it in 1979. There are also two Courage items, an India Pale Ale mirror and a Directors pump clip, plus two pumpclips from David Bruce’s Firkin Brewery chain (1977 to 1999).

Items from the Midlands include a 1937 coronation ashtray from Offiler’s, a Derby brewery set up in 1876 and which once owned 238 pubs. It was taken over and closed in 1966 by Charrington United Breweries group. There is also a book, originally priced at two shillings, described as ‘A pictorial anthology of town and country inns of character in the North Midlands’.

There will, of course, be a number of items from Burton itself, such as a Worthington advertising card and a Bass clock and a mirror. Bass, founded in 1777, is still brewed in Burton but these days by the Carlsberg Marstons Brewery Company at the original Marston’s brewery.

As for unusual items, there will be a lovely little ‘half a cup’ featuring a monk sitting on a barrel, a Guinness radio and a Youngers Tartan Beer jacket. Younger’s were set up in 1749, merged with McEwan’s in 1931 and the brewery was closed in 1986.

Burton on Trent is easily accessible by train and the Town Hall is in King Edward Place, just a short walk from the railway station. It is wheelchair accessible. The event starts at 10.30am, with the opportunity to view the lots and browse the breweriana stands. Bidding starts at 12pm and is normally finished by 3pm, giving a final chance to peruse the stands before visiting some of Burton’s iconic pubs before heading home. Entrance is by catalogue (£3.00), available on the day, or £4.45 (including postage) in advance, by post from Bill Austin (contact 07789 900411 or baustin1951@btinternet.com). If you cannot get there, postal bids are accepted, just contact Bill. For more details see here.
Christine Cryne