Tuesday, 3 May 2016

More Offiler’s fun

I find defunct regional breweries weirdly fascinating. Even ones like Offiler’s who have left few ripples on the pool of history.

I suppose they disappeared a bit too early and were located a bit too far away from where I grew up for them to have made any impression when I was younger. It now has me wondering: were the occasional Bass pubs in Nottingham originally Offiler’s houses?

This is surprisingly revealing for a single sentence:

A limited number of vacancies for Women and Girls in the bottling department at Offilers' Brewery Ltd., Ambrose-st., Derby. Good wages and working cons.”
Derby Daily Telegraph - Wednesday 05 July 1950, page 10.

Why revealing? It demonstrates two things. First, that bottling was on the up. Despite beer sales falling overall, bottled sales were surging. Brewers needed both new personnel and equipment to keep up. Second, that although women weren’t usually employed in breweries, they did work in bottling departments. For some reason that was seen as suitable work for women, while other jobs in the brewery weren’t. Maybe it’s because it involved cleaning.

Actually, there’s a third point: that wages and conditions were relatively good in breweries. There was a reason for that. Breweries employed relatively few people compared to the capital and turnover involved.

More confirmation that bottling was booming:

Brewery Bottle-Washer Blocks The Road
WHEN workmen to-day started installing this new mechanical bottle-washer at Offilers' Brewery, Ltd., Ambrose-street, Derby, the street had to be closed to traffic as it was completely blocked the 29-foot-long washer.

The washer, made to order Meyer-Dumore Bottlers' Equipment, Ltd., had had a two-day journey road from London, but Offilers had been waiting for it about three years.

The first one made for them had to diverted to export, Mr. F. R. Offiler told a "Telegraph" reporter.

It was hoped to complete the installation of the 20-ton washer by this evening.
Derby Daily Telegraph - Friday 18 August 1950, page 6.

The article demonstrates some of the frustrations of brewers in the immediate post-war period. New machinery was difficult to obtain. Partly because of shortages. But there was another reason. With the UK desperately short of hard currency, exports took priority.

Not quite done with Offiler’s yet.


Jeremy Drew said...

I'm surprised that the advert doesn't mention the opportunity to be fast-tracked into hotel management, for the right candidate...

Anonymous said...

Very funny.