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31st October 1974. What Happened to Bass?

Breweries moving to Burton-on-Trent, Staffs., to take advantage of the hard water, ideal for Pale Ale, included Truman’s of London and Everard’s of Leicester, but both were eventually to move out.

One company which was founded in the town was that of William Bass who sold out his carrier business to Pickfords in 1777. It was the start of a business which became synonymous with beer when it became a national beverage and a major exporter to India. (1)

Salts of Burton was acquired by Bass in 1927 along with Worthington, having already taken Walker’s in 1923, and ten years later James Eadie.

Early advertising.

Small wooden cask of traditional Bass.





The 1960.s saw the major brewing players combining, with Bass merging with the Birmingham-based Mitchells &Butlers and and later with the London-based Charrington Brewery, becoming Bass-Charrington, which now the largest brewer in the UK was seen as monopolistic.

On 31st March 1968 Bass made an onslaught on Stone in Staffordshire, by acquiring Bents Brewery, which also had a site in Liverpool. Six years later Today in 1974 the well known Stone Brewery, John Joules founded in 1758 with its Red Cross logo, was also taken over.(2)

Then came the iron-hand of Thatcherism, with the 1989 Beer Orders, which on the recommendation of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, investigated The Tied House System, then forced the national breweries to sell off 11,000 pubs, one third of the estate.

The close nexus between brewing and outlets, in Britain, was broken, foreign competition came and the Bass operations were bought in 2000 by the giant American Interbrew, (later Anheuser-Busch InBev). The retail side became Six-Continents Plc.

Interbrew was then told to sell the brewery and certain  brands, with Carlsberg and Worthington, being acquired by the American, Coors, later Molson Coors. Interbrew retained the rights to Bass Pale Ale. All in the name of what?

Then Draught Bass was brewed by Marstons for AB InBev in 2005. Bottled and Keg Bass brewed at A-B In Bev own brewery at Samlesbury, Lancs., for export, except in the US and Belgium where Bass is brewed locally. (3)

Return of Joules.

Out of the ashes the Joules’ Brand has arisen with a new site producing Pale Ale which is sold in its own pubs.

(1) Many brewers became peers, the ‘Beerage’, one to be ennobled as Lord Burton.

(2) Stone once enjoyed an advantage for brewing for as well as having water ideal for Pale-Ale running through the local gypsum layers, it was also had the advantage like Burton of being on The Trent and Mersey Canal and river for dispatching beer to the Humber Estuary and of bringing in coal from nearby collieries.

(3  InBev brew Whitbread Lager and Boddington Bitter and Bottled and Keg, Bass Pale Ale for export, at Samlesbury built in 1972 near Preston.

References: of Bass.

morningadvertiser. Phil Mellows. 27.4.2013. 22.10.2010. Joules return/Pic.



30th October 1942. Heroism.

HMS Petard was the only allied warship to sink a German, Italian and Japanese submarine in World War II.

Today in 1942 in an outstanding act of bravery Able-Seaman Colin Grazier along with Lt. Francis Fasson and NAAFI assistant Tommy Brown on board the destroyer HMS Petard, swam to the sinking U-boat 559 in the eastern Mediterranean. Then in the darkness managed to rescue vital documents relating to a 4-wheel Enigma machine which sank with the submarine.

This recovery was of supreme importance as we had been unable to read U-boat Enigma messages for nine months so when the documents reached Bletchley Park on November 24th it proved vital for breaking the German naval ‘Shark’ codes, now we were able to read German secret cyphers and break U-boat Enigma thereafter.

Convoys could now be re-routed to avoid the submarine wolf-packs and losses were reduced by half in January and February 1943.

However whilst further searches were taking place, the submarine sank taking the two sailors with it. They were awarded the George Cross posthumously. Brown was awarded the George Medal, all gazetted on 14th September 1943.(1)

It was said that the action merited the Victoria Cross but this must be won under enemy fire.

HMS Petard.

The action was yet another effort to acquire intelligence relating to the German Enigma Codes with which Bletchley were so vitally engaged, which apart from Petard was aided by HMS ships Pakenham, Hero, Dulverton, Hurworth, accompanied by a Sunderland Flying Boat from Squadron 47 based at Port Said.

The P Class Destroyer Petard was one of few of its Class to survive the war in a serviceable condition, and was broken up at Bo’ness, near Edinburgh in 1967.(2)

Memorial in Bedrule Kirk

Triple anchor memorial in Tamworth by Polish sculptor Pytel.







Colin Grazier, and his two fellow heroes, is commemorated in his home town of  Tamworth, Staffs. See Right.

Lt. Fasson is commemorated in Bedrule, Scotland.

(1) Brown died in a house fire in 1945.

(2) Petard was launched March 1941 by Vickers Armstrong, Newcastle.

References: of memorials.

dailymail/Pic of Petard.

29th October 1704. To Encourage the Others.

Admiral John Byng was the son of George Byng, Viscount Torrington, his promotion, he was a captain at 23, being due to his father’s influence also an admiral. Baptised Today in 1704, 53 years later in March 1757, John was shot on the quarter-deck of his flag ship, HMS Monarch for failing to do his duty.(1)

Execution of Byng. Artist unknown.

Minorca’s deep-water port of Mahon was a strategic Mediterranean haven in the 18th century,  and Byng had been sent in April to relieve the garrison at Fort St Michael then besieged by the French.(2)

To this end he was to carry 700 troops from Gibraltar to Port Mahon, but in the meantime the French had landed a force and were besieging the Fort. A subsequent Council of War convened by Byng decided against committing more troops and dispatched a letter home to this effect.

So having arrived at the island on May 9th 1756, he left the region without landing reinforcements and without blockading the French line between Toulon and Minorca.

King George II was not best pleased: ‘this man will not fight’ and after in June Minorca had surrendered, Byng was summoned home and arrested destined to be the scapegoat.

Mobs went round shouting, ‘swing, swing, Admiral Byng’, who was charged with ‘failing to do his utmost’.


Captain Augustus Hervey described the sad state of Byng’s squadron, the senseless orders to relieve Fort St Philip, patrol the high seas and protect Gibraltar-all at the same time.(3)

In the British Fleet there was a sense of injustice and Hervey supported Byng throughout his trial, believing more famous men were protecting themselves. 

Voltaire later in his satirical novel Candide viewed the shooting of Byng as serving as a warning to his colleagues (pour encourager les autres).

The execution of the Admiral might be construed as too severe a reading of the 1749 amended Articles of War, after our defeat at the Battle of Toulon which were aimed to ensure officers couldn’t evade responsibility for their actions, certainly by pulling strings.

However after this inglorious start to The Seven Years’ War (1756-63) in the conflict between Britain and France for overseas supremacy we did under Wolfe and Clive destroy French influence in America and India.

Britain also won Martinique, St Lucia, St, Vincent, Grenada, Tobago, Havana, Manila, some of which was later returned to the French and Spanish.

Recent petitions, by relatives, for a pardon for Byng have fallen on deaf ears.

(1) It was traditional to quote baptismal date as opposed to birth date. He was shot on 14th March.

(2) Or Menorca.

(3) Hervey was later Earl of Bristol.

References: Hope for Pardon. Jasper Copping.23.6.2013/Pic. and Norton-Taylor. 15.3.2007.

historytoday.V 57 Iss 3. 3.3.2007. Richard Cavendish.

28th October 1216. Two Coronations and the Longest Reign.

Today in 1216 Henry III was crowned for the first time with a simple gold band, as the original had, along with other crown jewels, been lost by his father King John, whilst crossing the Wash. He also had to ‘make-do’ with wearing whatever robes could be begged or borrowed.

He was the first to be crowned out of London since the Conquest and the first infant, at nine years, since Ethelred the Unready.

Crowned in Gloucester Cathedral, not by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but by Peter des Roches, warrior Bishop of Winchester, anointed by the bishops of Worcester and Exeter, the ceremony was overseen by the papal legate, Cardinal Guala Bicchieri.

The coronation of King Henry III, 13th century. Found in the collection of British Library. Artist : Anonymous. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

England at the time was split down the middle in allegiance as the rebel barons were seeking to make Prince Louis, later Louis VIII of France, king of England.

Then there was the problem that Pope Honorius III happened to be overlord of England as the result of King John handing over power to the Papacy, which sparked-off the need for a second coronation as it was thought the original was not in line with Church Rites. This was to happen  on 17th May 1220, this time at Westminster.

One spin-off from the Pope’s hegemony meant that the King and his brother Richard, Earl of Cornwall couldn’t be excommunicated for any supposed misdemeanour which might traditionally have called down this sanction.

Henry III has come down in history as pious no doubt from his association with the foundation of many religious institutions: In Gloucester He was to donate funds for the building of the Blackfriars in 1270 supplying timber from his Forest of Dean.

He is also associated with Salisbury Cathedral and supposed to have laid the foundation stone. However it seems that £100 he was to donate wasn’t forthcoming from him personally, but came from a debt owed by Bishop Bingham which discharged his promise.

However Henry’s greatest project was Westminster Abbey which had already a Saint to call upon as patron in the Saxon, Edward the Confessor, one who Henry attempted in his life to emulate in his piety.(1)

Any long reign is bound to be remembered for varying reasons and Henry’s especially so for the restatement of The Magna Carta, the touchstone of a bargain between king and barons, that taxation would only be granted in exchange for upholding liberties, especially after the tumult of the Barons’ Wars and the threat posed by Simon de Montfort.(2)

Henry was thus able to hand over in 1272 a stable realm to his son Edward I which he could go on to consolidate and expand.

(1) The Tower of London was also rebuilt.

(2) Henry (1.10.1207-16.11.1272), King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine, reigned for 56 years not to be exceeded until George III. He married Eleanor of Provence.


Fine Rolls 35 Regnal Year Marginal annotations re £100 . C 60/48 Fine Roll Henry III 28th October 1250-27th October 1251 Membrane 3.

27th October 1986. Lead up to Big Bang.

In 1986 the London Stock Exchange’s ‘Big Bang’ got off to a shaky start Today  when its new computerised dealing system failed at 8.30 am sending traders back onto the dealing floor.

Computerised dealing was shown to be indispensable a month later when four million applied for British Gas privatised shares.

Now redundant the old stock market floor.

The Exchange, like Lloyds Insurers began life in the City’s coffee-houses of the late 17th century and it was near the Royal Exchange where merchants, clerks and lawyers would have met.

However they became so numerous with all the potential for sedition and political ferment that Charles II in 1675 ordered them to be closed down believing they ‘originated malicious rumours about the government’.

Pepys’ recorded on November 24th 1664: ‘To a coffee house to drink jocolatte (sic) very good’. The Joint Stock Companies emerging in the 1600.s gave men a means of something to do with their money other than buy land or lending, so middlemen arose between investors and entrepreneurs as the commercial boom of the 17th century led to a growth in the number of companies.

By 1695 there were at least 140 with parliamentary regulation in 1696 introducing a licensing system for brokers

Thus it was in coffee and chocolate houses that London club life began and it was in 1652 that a trader from the Lebanon, Pasqua Rosee opened a shop selling a new kind of drink, so by 1700 London had 2,000 coffee-houses.

As well as Lloyds for the merchants in Lombard Street, there was Will’s for the writers, the likes of Farquhar, Dryden, Congreve and Vanbrugh, Old Slaughter for painters, White’s for the fashionable, the Cocoa Tree for the Tories and Jacobites.

There was St. James’s for the Whigs, Truby’s for clergy, stockbrokers went to Garroway’s and Jonathan’s.

In 1730 on February 3rd, the first stock market quotations were published in the Daily Advertiser, London, with the first Stock Exchange being opened in 1773 in a custom built building on the corner of Threadneedle Street and Sweetings Alley in the City.

By the middle of the 19thc there were more than 1,000 brokers with the Royal Exchange and Bank of England the centre of the City, the focus of the world’s financial system and of a liberal international order.

The 19thc-railway-building mania saw much speculation resulting in many company crashes with banks being particularly vulnerable, the most notable crash that of Overend and Gurney.

Perhaps the biggest financial crash in living memory occurred in September 2008 after a large number of bank failures both here and in the United States, and one can be certain it won’t be the last.


bbc. Jamie Robertson. 27.10.2016.



26th October 1947. Disaster on the Lines.

The first London, Tube-Train accident was in 1912 when twenty-two were injured on the Piccadilly Line, whilst the Moorgate crash killed thirty-five on 28th February 1975; the biggest in Tube history.

The last mainline train crash before Railway Nationalisation (1st January 1948) was the Goswick disaster in Northumberland Today in 1947 when the Edinburgh (Waverley) to Kings Cross left the rails on a diversion route.

It resulted in 28 being killed and 90 injured and destruction of the illustrious LNER, Flying Scot A3 No. 66 named ‘Merry Hampton’. (1)

Aftermath of Goswick, Northumberland crash which happened at 12.47 pm.

It appears that engineering work on the line  resulted in the train being re-scheduled to a goods loop at Goswick between Berwick and Morpeth, a change which was posted at Haymarket Depot, requiring a reduction of speed down to 15 mph but was approached at 60 mph.

The subsequent Inquiry named the driver as the primary cause of the accident, who it appeared had an unauthorized person on the foot-plate. It named the fireman and guard as secondary causes. The signalman was cleared of any blame.

In October 1952 the Perth-London express ran into another, with a Manchester train ploughing into the wreckage, at Harrow and Wealdstone Station: 112 were killed and the wreckage was 50 ft high. Here again driver error was blamed as it appears he passed two signals at danger.

Crash at Harrow and Wealdstone.

Five years later saw, at the time the third worst rail disaster in the UK, which occurred in thick fog near Lewisham on December 4th. It appears that the trains were running late and crowded.

The following Ramsgate train crashed into a stationary train after the driver had passed two caution signals, but after two trials was acquitted of manslaughter. 

92 were killed and more than 100 injured, made worse by a flyover bridge crashing onto coaches.

In November 1967 forty-nine were killed and seventy-eight injured, when a Hastings to Charing Cross train was derailed at Hither Green, south London. A broken line was the cause resulting in safer line-maintenance practices.

On December 12th 1988 over 30 were killed when a packed commuter train piled into the back of another just outside Clapham Junction, the world’s busiest railway junction. Seconds later an empty train ploughed into the wreckage and only quick thinking by its guard prevented a fourth train joining the pile-up.

It was Britain’s worst train disaster in 20 years. Signal failure was blamed owing to faulty and unsupervised work and cited in 1996 as a need to change the law on culpability, and the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act.

Very few years, since the inception of railways, have been accident free. However one exceptional year was 1949 when not a single passenger was killed, the best record on the railways since 1908. (2).

(1) LNER The London and North Eastern Railways.

(2) British Railways. Boocock and Morrison.

References: of Goswick. of Clapham. (see right). this day/Pic of Wealdstone.



25th October 1951. Tories Back in Power.

Today was Election Day, in 1951 when Churchill was returned for a second time after the catastrophic slide to Labour in 1945 when he just kept his seat.

Tories received 302 seats and the National Liberals, who were in alliance, received 19 with the Labour Party winning 295, but who was in fact to get more of the popular vote than the Tories.(1)

Thus Churchill was back for another four years and in 1953 he was to win the Noble Prize for literature for his War Memoirs, but wanting to be seen as a peacemaker he was disappointed the award wasn’t for Peace. According to his Private Secretary, Anthony Montague Browne his face fell when he was told it was for Literature.

Churchill in fact had an industry going for his writing, on the six-volume Second World War a syndicate of a six-member team of researchers and writers did the archival spade work, but also frequently drafted chapters to which sometimes Churchill added his rhetorical flourishes; he made £30m in today’s money for the work.

His ‘ghost-writer historians’ learned how to mimic his inimitable prose and what is ‘genuine Churchill’ and ‘school of’, will be difficult for future historians said Colville his Private Secretary. (2)

In his second administration Churchill wanted as many of his old wartime team as possible and because he couldn’t get Lord Portal, former Chief of Air Staff, for defence, he persuaded the King to release Field Marshall, Lord Alexander from the Governor-Generalship of Canada.

‘Pug’ Ismay was given Commonwealth Relations and Cherwell was appointed to run Churchill’s private Think Tank and Atomic Energy Policy, with the title of Paymaster General.

Churchill was determined to re-create ‘co-ordinating’ or ‘supervising’ Ministers as ‘Overlords’: Leathers, Woolton, Cherwell and Swinton, despite protests from Cabinet Secretary, Sir Norman Brook, an experiment to last to September 1953.

Many would say Churchill should have gone earlier than 1955 especially as in 1952 and 1953 he had suffered strokes, which in those days were managed to be kept from the media, unlikely today

However Winston was the great survivor, personally and politically, from the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, and many other conflicts and illnesses, living as Prime Minister (PM) to see in October 1952, Britain’s first atom bomb tested in the Monte Bello Islands of NW Australia.

The next year he was the first British PM to have his hands on a droppable nuclear weapon when the first plutonium Blue Danube bomb was delivered to RAF Wittering in November.

He was to live basking in honours until 1965 when at his funeral the pall-bearers comprised three Field Marshals, Sir Gerald Templar, Lord Slim, and Lord Alexander of Tunis as well as Marshall of RAF Lord Portal of Hungerford, Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Mountbatten and four former Prime-Ministers: Macmillan, Eden, Sir Robert Menzies (Australia) and Attlee in addition to Lord Bridges and Lord Ismay. There were eight bands in the procession.

(1) A not unusual occurrence in British elections.

(2) He had the advantage of access to Cabinet Papers denied to Keith Feiling for Chamberlain’s biography.