Sunday, 21 July 2019

Boddington bombed

Some of the most fascinating entries in brewing records often have little or nothing to do with brewing itself.

Like the entry at the start of one Barclay Perkins brewing logs from the early 19th century where it mentions that the Napoleonic Wars have ended.

But it's WW II that throws up the most dramatic entries. For the first time, breweries were directly under attack. There's a not in a Whitbread record from September 1940 mentioning that the brewery had been hit by a couple of bombs. Though some damage was caused, it wasn't enough to put the brewery out of action. Though they did lose a stockpile of barrel staves which went up in smoke.

Large London breweries, like Whitbread, were better protected than most enterprises as they had their own fire brigades. Dead handy, as most dmage was from from fire not the blast of high explosive bombs. At the end of the war, the Whitbread stood virually alone in a sea of devastation.

Boddington wasn't so lucky. The brewery was so badly damaged in raids just before Christmas 1940. So badly that it was out of action for several months, with production being transferred to Hydes. Even worse, all the beer in the fermenters was spoilt and had to be thrown away.

The "ran away" refers to the beer being thrown out, not the brewer legging it.

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