Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Prince of Wales at Allsopp's Brewery (part two)

Edward Prince of Wales. Liked a drink and the ladies. No wonder he was up for brewery visits.

Here he gets to show off his prowess in the drinking part:

"The hydraulic hoists, by which the barrels are conveyed to the loading stage above, and vice-versa, demanded a little attention, and the party were then escorted to the western end of the stores. Here a table had been deposited, and on it dainty morsels of cheese, crisp celery, and small loaves and biscuits were displayed, while sample glasses of various kinds of ale were handed round, these being drawn by Mr. Booth, ale storekeeper. The Prince partook of a glass of bitter eight months old, sampled a portion of the ale which was brewed specially for Captain Sir George Nares for use in the Arctic expedition fifteen years ago,and tasted some double stout three months old. With the bitter ale his Royal Highness appeared particularly pleased, and his approbation found expression in the remark, addressed to the Duchess of Manchester, "This is delicious" while the ale of a greater age also came in for a share of the Royal favour. The distinguished visitors enjoyed with evident relish this novel interval in the morning's proceedings, sampling the various brews with the keen sense of connoisseurs ; and it is matter for congratulation, not less for Messrs. Samuel Allsopp and Sons, Limited, than for the town at large, that the ales were in the condition which is best described as "the pink of perfection."
The Illustrated London News, 1st December 1888, page 642.

I don't think I'd have been much interested in the cheese and biscuits. Not with that beer knocking around.  The phrase "a glass of bitter eight months old" tells us so much. First that Bitter and Pale Ale were used as synonyms in the 19th century. Secondly that Pale Ale was still often a Stock Ale, matured for months before sale. The same was true to some extent of the Double Stout, which here was three months old.

Oh, oh. Look at that. The Prince drank Arctic Ale brewed for Sir George Nares expedition. That's the same beer I drank a few weeks ago. Now that is a weird feeling. I drank the same beer as the Prince of Wales.

"The Royal inspection of the brewery wan now at an end. It occupied fully an hour and a half, but notwithstanding the fatigue which "doing" an enormous brewery like that of Messrs. Samuel Allsopp and Sons must necessarily involve, his Royal Highness did not experience the slightest inconvenience. His interest in the brewery never for a moment waned, and as each department was entered he manifested a keen desire to be made acquainted with its every detail. Between three and four thousand of the general public were admitted by ticket to  the  brewery premises, and during his progress from room to room the Prime was cheered again and again, while from the workpeople and staff similar demonstrations of loyalty proceeded all along the route as it were ; his Royal Highness's reception inside the brewery was, in fact, as cordial and enthusiastic as it was outside and he repeatedly returned the salutations. The public were distributed in sections throughout the buildings. and thus every facility was afforded for a glimpse of the Heir Apparent.  Upon leaving the stores the Prince was conduced up the spiral staircase to the board-room, and. with the other visitors, entertained at luncheon by Lord Hindlip, The table, of a horseshoe form,  was adorned with valuable plate and beautiful floral decorations, The inside edges were bordered with miniature ferns, and from the floor in the centre rose a group of graceful palms, whose sombre hues were here and there relieved by the delicate bloom of the arum lily. Immediately opposite his Royal Highness reposed, on a piece of prettily-designed elcetro-plate, a charming bouquet composed largely of Roman hyacinths intertwined with ferns, and down the table on each side beautifully - arranged bouquets, palms, ferns, and orange-trees were judiciously disposed. The fireplace was for the occasion turned into a miniature conservatory—palms and maidenhair ferns, primulas and begonias, being freely distributed thereabout ; while over the mantelpiece hung a splendid painting of his Royal Highness, represented as the Grand Master of Masons in England. Immediately over the entrance to the board-room, on the inner side, was an artistically-arranged crescent of flags, and the doors were hung with rich tapestry. Mr. J. T. Poyser's office; which closely adjoins the board-mom, had been fitted up in an elegant manner as a ladies' boudoir. The furniture was of the Queen Anne pattern, and was upholstered in rich crimson velvet. It was also furnished with arras hangings, a beautiful Indian screen, and a choice overmantel, while a magnificent bouquet rested on an occasional-table. The corridor by which the boudoir is approached was made gay with a number of small shrubs. The Hon. George Allsopp placed his private room at the disposal of the Prince."
The Illustrated London News, 1st December 1888, page 642.

That's strange, letting in several thousand members of the public to watch the Prince walk around a brewery. What people had to do for entertainment before TV and internet. I would if they had to pay for their tickets?

The board room sounds as if it was done out like a high-class knocking shop. Obviously the sort of place the Prince would feel right at home.

For the sake of completeness, here's the end of the article:

"Perhaps one of the most pleasant incidents in the scene within the brewery occurred just as his Royal Highness was preparing to leave. A number of the staff and employes had gathered in the offices near the principal entrance, and sang "God bless the Prince of Wales," Mr. J. Tomlinson taking the solo, and the chorus being rendered in the heartiest manner possible by all present. The Prince passed out during this interesting manifestation of loyalty, and appeared much impressed by it. The arrangements for the inspection of the brewery were made by Councillor Stirk. while the plants for the Prince's room were supplied by Mr. H. Barker, Horninglowcross.

There was again a large crowd of people on the railway bridge as the Prince returned to the station, and when the train started for Derby, with the saloon carriage to be transferred there to a Midland Railway train for London, "brewery salutes" of fog signals were fired, in Messrs. Allsopp's brewery. His Royal Highness, in taking leave of Lord and Lady Hindlip, and of the Hon. George Allsopp, again expressed his satisfaction at having inspected the great establishment which is renowned all over the world."
The Illustrated London News, 1st December 1888, page 642.

I wish I got ferried to breweries by private train.

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