Monday 30 November 2020

Naughty vicar?

Looking in various newspapers, I've found several similar reports to the one I published yesterday. With some sections identical and others unique. It looks like they are all based on a longer agency article, which has been edited down in different ways.

These paragraphs give us a pretty good clue as to the swear word the rector used:

 "Mr. Benson: Do you sometimes use strong language? 

The Rector; Not normally. I have called a man ____ fool. I expect I shall do it again. I have no priggish qualms about that. 

The rector said the use of one word which he admitted using, but not frequently, “was a habit with real men.” 

Mr. Richardson; Do you know is is a contraction of the sacred oath “By our Lady”? The Rector" I am priest, and I have never heard that explanation before."
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Saturday 25 November 1944, page 8.

All this fuss was about occasionally saying "bloody"? Disappointingly innocuous.

There are some new characters and also an intriguing revelation about the rector's past:

"The rector said: “I have had my drink. I am like an ordinary normal man when have had it. I hope." He said he did not like Mrs. Marshall. She came between Mr Van Eyk, "who was very nice man.” and himself. 

The rector said he knew what drunkenness was “because he had been a judge of the High Court of Nigeria." 

Evidence that they had never seen the Rector under the influence of drink was given by Major William Elgy Freeman, of Fleet, Hants, formerly of the Indian Army, who said he had rooms at the Rectory from 1943 to May 1944, and Mr. William B. Farrant licensee of the Bailey Mow. "
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Saturday 25 November 1944, page 8.

Who the fuck were Mrs. Marshall. and Mr Van Eyk and why were they living with the rector? This is all getting way too complicated.

And the rector had been a judge in Nigeria? WTF?  

Yet another lodger in the form of Major Freeman. Was the rector running a boarding house?

The rector doesn't sound such a bad chap, does he? Wait until you see how another reporter write about the case.

Sunday 29 November 2020

A tippling rector

Another WW II pub tale. This time about a vicar who sounds like he's stepped out of the pages of Viz. A classic naughty vicar.

The case must have caused quite a stir as this report is in a Coventry newspaper, mikes away from Hampshire where the rector resided.

“Tippling” Accusations:
Rector’s Defence

THE defence of the Rev. Hugo Dominique de la Mothe (54), Rector of Dogmersfleld, Hampshire, opened to-day at the resumed Winchester Diocesan Consistory Court, at Basingstoke. 

The accusations brought under the Clergy Discipline Act of 1892, Section 2, were that between June, 1942, and June, 1944, the rector had been frequently drunk, had “resorted to taverns and tippling.” had been guilty of immorality in that on or about May, 1944. at Dogmersfleld, he was in such a drunken condition that he committed a nuisance in the presence of women, and that he made derogatory references to the husband of Mrs. Maggie Robinson, his servant. 

Yesterday it was alleged that the rector frequented public-houses and was drunk for the greater part of most days in the week. Mr. Ryder Richardson appears for the Bishop of Winchester and Mr. Stephen Benson defends the rector. 

The rector was called to give evidence. 

Mr. Benson: Were you generally drunk between June, 1942, and June 1944? —The rector: There is no truth in that. 


With regard to resorting to taverns and tippling?—l go to taverns in the first instance to meet my men folk; I can’t meet them in their homes. I do visit the “Barley Mow" both my churchwardens and I meet there in the evening and we talk business. I play billiards or darts with the men. I am member the dart team if I am required. He went to the Queen’s Head when he was chief warden because it. was the A.R.P. headquarters.

The Rector said that he told the Bishop of Winchester that did not see any harm in visiting public houses, "and unless he gave me a definite order I did not intend to desist.” 

Mr. Benson; Have you fallen off your bicycle? 

The Rector: I have done in the past, and I am not the only one either. It is a very difficult hill. I have come off once or twice, but it is not a regular habit.

Mr. la Mothe said he was excited after family altercation and distressed, and not suffering from drink, when Dr. Evans gave him an injection in the Queen’s Head when he had a dispute with Mr. Clowes. Mr. Clowes called him "a drunken dipsomaniac.” and he told Clowes, "The best thing for you would be a jolly good hiding.” 

The Rector denied he spent one and half hours in some laurels after falling off his bicycle. 

Mr. Richardson: Is it true that Clowes tried shoot you? — At any rate, I have been shot at by his gun. 

Did he try to shoot you? — Not deliberately. The Rector said the use of one word which he admitted using, but not frequently, "was a habit with real men.”


Mr. Henry Cole, Rector’s warden since last Easter, said that he had seen the Rector at the Barley Mow once or twice weekly by chance, or to discuss business, and they had drinks together. He had never seen the Rector drunk. 

Mr. Richardson: Do you find a public-house a good place to discuss church business? — I can’t say I do. 

Mr. Walter Charles Trimmer, people’s warden for 13 or 14 years, said that had seen the Rector the Barley Mow. but not often; they met by chance there. (Proceeding)
Coventry Evening Telegraph - Saturday 25 November 1944, page 8. 

There are some intriguing hints about the rector's behaviour. What did Dr. Evans inject him with in the Queen’s Head? What was his dispute with Mr. Clowes?

I'm guessing that the word "real men used" was fuck.

Rev. de la Mothe sounds quite a fun bloke. I wonder what happened to him?

You've probably noticed that the Barley Mow is still around. So is the  Queen’s Head, too.

. . .

Just been for a walk. Thinking about this case as I plodded along, A couple of things struck me. But that didn't deter me from continuing on my way. When I thought a couple of things.

Like, what does that phrase "commit a nuisance in the presence of women" mean? Did he drop his kecks? It's a very odd way to describe something. Can't be anything other than a euphemism. 

Another strange turn of phrase is when the rector says: "I have been shot at by his gun". Why avoid saying who pulled the trigger? Unless it was his wife.

Oh, and if the rector played on the pub's darts team, he must have been a regular there.

Yet another thing. Why did the rector usually drink in the Barley Mow? The Queen's Head is only a 7-minute walk from the church (according to Google Maps). While the Barley Mow is 21 minutes away.

I've dug a bit deeper and have found out more about the foul-mouthed, drunken vicar.

Saturday 28 November 2020

Let's Brew - 1942 William Younger No. 1

A few lucky souls were, even in 1942, lucky enough to still be drinking strong Scotch Ale. Though No. 1 was getting progressively weaker.

Kicking off the war at 1084º, it dropped to 1082º and then 1081º in 1940. Where it remained for more than a year. Only in 1942 were there further reductions, in January to 1076º and in February to 1071º. Though it did rise back to 1076º in 1943.

Given how much Younger was playing around with different adjuncts early in 1942, the grist is surprisingly similar to that of the previous year. The individual elements are all the same, the only change being a reduction if the quantity of rice used from 7 to 5 quarters.

The hopping rate has fallen a little, from 4.75 lbs per quarter (336 lbs) of malt to 4.5 lbs. This, combined with the age of the hops – all were from the 1940 harvest – has cut the calculated IBUs from 30 to 24. As usual, all the hops were from Kent.

1942 William Younger No. 1
pale malt 11.25 lb 59.21%
crystal malt 120L 1.50 lb 7.89%
grits 2.00 lb 10.53%
flaked rice 3.75 lb 19.74%
lactose 0.50 lb 2.63%
Fuggles 150 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.75 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1071
FG 1022
ABV 6.48
Apparent attenuation 69.01%
IBU 24
SRM 16
Mash at 155º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Friday 27 November 2020

The Cold Storage of Hops

One of the trickiest aspects of writing historical recipes is how to deal with old hops.

It's rare to find am old recipe using exclusively hops from the most recent season. Brewers had a good reason for using older hops - the size of the crop, and hence the price, varied greatly from year to year. In years when hops were cheap, brewers would buy more hops than they required. This gave them some insurance against years when the crop was poor.

We all know that hops deteriorate with age, so how could ones two, three old, or even more, be of any use? Brewers weren't daft. They realised that by storing their hops cold the deterioration could be significantly slowed down.

"The Cold Storage of Hops
F. Babak, of the United States Department of Agriculture, has made some long-term experiments on the storage of hops which are reported in the Brewers' Digest (Sept., 1943). Six samples of hops, four home grown and two imported were stored for 5.5 years in cold store and ordinary store. The cold store was kept at a temperature of 38° to 40° with about 47% humidity, the ordinary store under fluctuating conditions according to the season. Samples were taken at various periods from three months upwards and examined physically and the resins estimated. The object was to find the rate of deterioration and incidentally as to whether there was any variation in this respect as regards seeded and unseeded hops, some brewers being of opinion that the presence of seeds made a difference.

The author’s results bear out the experience of the merits of cold storage we have found in this country if allowance is made for the difference in the temperature of the “cold stores,” for here the temperature of a cold store is much nearer freezing point. The figures are interesting as showing the drop in alpha-resin and increase in beta-resin during the first 21 months in cold store, an important difference as regards preservative power although the total soft resins has decreased much less. In ordinary store the change over is far more marked in nine months, and in this respect the seeded hops show up much worse than the seedless ones, a difference that is not noticeable in cold store. There was also a difference in the time a cheesy odour developed ; it started in the seeded hops after nine months’ ordinary storage, but with seedless hops not until 15 months had elapsed. In cold store the cheesy odour did not occur until after 27 months."
The Brewing Trade Review, December 1943, pages 358 - 359. 

I was surprised that the beta resins increased during the first 21 months of cold storage. Not heard about that before.It seems a bit odd. Nor that seeded hips deteriorated more quickly than seedless hops. That's quite important, as English hops always had seeds. While continental ones didn't.

It's s shame that the analyses of hops at different ages weren't included in this article. Anybody have the Brewers' Digest for September, 1943?

Thursday 26 November 2020

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The Druid's Rest

 More wartime pubs. But this time not a crime scene. Not even a real pub, as it's play set in a pub. A .light comedy. Though it was notable for one thing.

 A New Comedy by Emlyn Williams
"The Druid's Rest" Centres Around a Small Public House in the Heart of Wales

Emlyn Williams has chosen a small village pub as the setting for his new comedy presented by H. M. Tennent and Emile Littler at St. Martin's Theatre. The time is summer, early in this century. The play centres around the national passion for music and a boy's too-vivid imagination. The play will he seen by our men in the Middle East soon. Mr. Williams is taking out a company and will himself appear as Job Edwards, the Landlord, the part played in London by Roddy Hughes

Kate: "From now till four weeks to-day you're not to open any story-books at all"
Kate Edwards (Gladys Henson), alarmed at the fertile imagination of her son Tommos (Brynmor Thomas) which is getting the family into serious trouble, locks away the boy's books

The Man : “My name is Smith. Have you a room?”
Tommos is greeted by a stranger (Michael Shepley), icho interrupts the boy's reading of the newspaper report of “The Brides in the Bath” case

Smith: "And what shall I have to tell Him I've got on my mind?"
Sarah Jane: "Four naked women"
Encouraged by Tommos, everyone believes their visitor to be the murderer Smith. Sarah Jane Jehovah (Nuna Davey) tries to save his soul 

Job: "Now, now, I don't like to see you upset, Kate fach"
Job Edwards (Roddy Hughes), landlord of The Druid's Rest, has one passion his choir. It leads him into trouble with his wife

Right An old Coronation mug identifies Smith the stranger, as Lord Ffynnon. Beside Kate on the settle is the Tramp (Neil Porter): on the right Zachuriah Policeman (Lyn Evans), and behind, the Edwards' elder son Clan (Richard Burton)
The Tatler - Wednesday 23 February 1944, page 9.

 I'm sure you spitted it. The play was Richard Burton's debut stage performance.I wonder what became of him later?

 I was surprised to discover that the play was performed in London as recently as 2009. sis anyone see it?

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1868 William Younger No. 4 Ale Export

When William Younger first introduced their numbered Ales, they went from No. 1, the strongest, to No. 4. The baby of the bunch didn’t last that long. A decade after this beer was brewed, it had disappeared.

A feature of some Younger beers of this period is the complete absence of local ingredients, other than water and yeast. The malt is simply listed as “foreign”, while the hops are described as “Bohemian” and “Saaz”.

No. 4 is very heavily hopped with good quality, low alpha hops. Something which can have a magical effect. There’s also extremely heavy dry hopping. All those factors taken together imply that this beer might well have been allowed to age for a while before sale. I’d go for 3 to 6 months. Not too long, as it doesn’t really have the gravity to spend years maturing.

1868 William Younger No. 4 Ale Export
pale malt 15.75 lb 100.00%
Saaz 90 min 3.00 oz
Saaz 60 min 3.50 oz
Saaz 20 min 3.00 oz
Saaz dry hops 2.50 oz
OG 1068
FG 1022
ABV 6.09
Apparent attenuation 67.65%
IBU 84
Mash at 154º F
Sparge at 185º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 59º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

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Tuesday 24 November 2020

More Chtistmas gift ideas

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A dodgy tailor

Yet more dodgy dealings in a wartime pub. This time it's fraud rather than theft.

Goods Not Delivered 

A STORY of ordered suits which did not materialize was related to the Portsmouth Magistrates to-day, when Samuel Goode (48), a tailor, of 55, Ingleby Road, Ilford, pleaded not guilty to charges of false pretences. 

He was accused of obtaining on November 15, November 22, and December 17, 1943, the sums of £10 and ten coupons, and £10 and £5 respectively from Stanley Sullivan by means of false pretences, and on a day in November, 1943, obtaining £14 from Albert Cass, and on a day in August, 1943, obtaining £5 and 30 coupons from Thomas O’Flynn, also by means of false pretences.

George Sullivan, of 60, Tredegar Road, Southsea, said he met Goode in a public-house at Eastney and accused told him he was working at Airspeeds but in his spare time he represented Goode’s, naval Tailors, of the Hard, Portsea. Accused produced a number of patterns and as a result he ordered a suit, and gave Goode £10 and ten coupons. Subsequently he gave Goode another £10 and £5 as an advance on an overcoat.

Albert Cass, licensee of the Highland public house, Eastney, said he had known Goode for 20 years. He believed he represented the firm of Goode's and ordered a suit for which he gave Goode £14 as an advance.

Thomas O’Flynn, a store clerk at Airspeed, of 30 Andover Road, Southsea, said Goode told him that he represented the firm of tailors at the Hard. Witness gave him £5 and 30 coupons and ordered a suit.

Ernest Goode, of Petersfleld, manager of Goode's, naval tailors, the Hard, Portsea, said accused was his brother, but he had had no connexion with the firm since 1934.

Detective Sergeant Strugnell said that when he charged the accused he replied, “ I have a complete answer to that.

Accused said he had never represented himself as having any connexion with the firm of Goode’s.

He was himself a practica1 tailor, and during the last 18 months he had supplied several people with suits. He had intended to supply the suits for which he had taken money, but was unable to do so as he had been ill since September. He Intended to pay back all the money he had taken.

Mr. A. Ainscough, for defence. said all the evidence was “public housy,” and rather unsatisfactory.

The Magistrates found the case proved, but ordered a week's adjournment to see what settlement, if any, could be arranged between the defendant and complainants, before passing sentence."
Portsmouth Evening News - Monday 24 January 1944, page 4. 

Was Goode intending to commit a fraud? Or did he just promise more than he could deliver? It's hard to say. But it seems a bit odd that he would try to con someone he had known for 20 years. Goode's brother does sound like he didn't want to have any connection with his brother. I wonder why he had left the family firm in 1934?

The sums involved are quite substantial for the time. £10 would get you 200 pints of Mild in 1944. Though the coupons - clothing ration coupons - could well have been worth as much, or even more. Clothing was strictly rationed during the war.

The magistrates were pretty lenient, giving Goode the chance to pay the duped punters back before passing sentence.


Monday 23 November 2020

Yule Logs!!!!!!

Thanks to unemployment, I've had time this year to produce my traditional Christmas book of brewing logs. Unlike 2019, when to be perfectly honest, I couldn't be arsed.

 The same format as always: no words, just photos of brewing records. Just like every other year, I don't expect to sell fuck all copies. But, you know, I still like the put this nonsense out there.

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Disturbance in Public-House

Another crime story. But this time just a bunch of over-refreshed sailors getting a bit naughty.

Kirkcaldy Court Sequel

Evidence was led Kirkcaldy Police Court on Thursday in the case in which six navymen were charged with having 1) on 6/5/44, within a public-house shouted and bawled, cursed and swore, used lilthy language, and conducted themselves in a drunken and disorderly manner; and (2) at the same lime, o, the same date and in the same public-house, wilfully and maliciously broke a glass panel, valued at 10/-,

The first witness for the prosecution, George Smith Anderson, publican, Townsend Place, Kirkcaldy, stated that he carried on business at Rose street. On the night in question the accused entered the public bar and asked for drinks. He refused them, however, as he thought that they had had too much already. One of the accused then banged tray down on the counter and demanded six beers. He asked them leave the premises, but they replied by asking for more drinks. They then began to curse and swear and use filthy language, remarking that they were fighting for him. They then left, but returned several minutes later to the lounge and tried to force their way behind the bar. They were again refused drinks and told to leave. They went out, but as they left the door leading into Rose Street, he heard the sound of breaking glass. He went to see what had happened and found that the glass panel in the door had been smashed. There had been no one else entering or leaving premises at that time. He looked outside and saw the accused running up Rose Street, towards the High Street. He phoned for the police, and when, the constable arrived and was given a description of the accused, said that he had seen several lads on the High Street, bearing that description. The accused were later arrested, and he went to the police station later that night to identify them.

George Wilson, barman. 51 Market Street, Kirkcaldy, who was behind the bar when the accused the public-house, said that he did not think they were drunk. They were in rather a rowdy mood. They asked to be supplied with drinks, but they were trfused and began to curse and swear. They went out, but came back again and went into the lounge, but were again told they would not be served. They again went out and as they were leaving he heard the sound of breaking glass and found that the glass panel of the door bad been smashed.

James Gordon Barclay, King Street, Kirkcaldy, and David Campbell, 29 Simpson Street, Kirkcaldy who were present at the time corroborated the previous witnesses’ statements as to the condition of the accused. 

Constable Walker, who was on the High Street the night in question, said that he was informed of a complaint against some young lads for a breach the peace om Anderson’s premises. He obtained a description of them and later found them on the High Street and took them to the police station, where they were later identified by Anderson and Wilson.

In reply to Mr David Usher, Burgh Prosecutor, Constable Walker said that when saw the accused on the High Street, they were under the influence of drink and very noisy. 

Three of the accused entered the witness-box, but while they admitted being drunk, then denied used filthy language. The glass panel had been broken in a mistake. 

A naval officer, who appeared on behalf of the accused, said that this was their first offence, and although they were a bit energetic, he knew them to be very well behaved. He hoped that the fact that they likely to be called away at any moment would be taken into consideration.

Mr Usher corroborated the officer's statement to the extent that this was their first offence, and added that he thought they had been Just a little too boisterous during their time off. 

In finding the accused guilty as charged, Bailie Fleming said that he had taken into account what had been said in their favour, and imposed a modified fine of 5/- on each.
Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian - Saturday 13 May, page 2.

A 5'- fine was basically a slap on the wrist. About the same as the price of 5 pints on Mild in 1944.

Love the description of the sailors as being "a bit energetic". It seems like the court went easy on them because they were likely to be sent into action at any moment. I can imagine how stressful that must have been.

Sunday 22 November 2020

Boys in Public House

A quick follow-up to today's earlier post about underage girls drinking. Where I wondered if boys would have been treated the same way. The answer is, yes. At least in this case:

"Two sixteen-year-old lads were each fined 10s at Dundee Juvenile Police Court to-day, when they admitted consuming in a public house 2 pints of beer and two quarter gills of whisky. "
Dundee Evening Telegraph - Saturday 15 January 1944, page 2.

The boys were both younger and drank considerably more than the girls. They were fined, but not put on probation. Mmm.

I'll see if I can find more cases of underage drinking in the archives.

Girls in Public House

This is such a weird case. And I can't imagine that it would have been treated in the same way in my youth. Ir today, for that matter.

To put this into context, according to The Pub and the People, there was almost no underage drinking pre-war.

"Girls in Public House

TWO 17-years-old girls, Dorothy Elizabeth White, milk bar attendant, 2, James Street, Rugby, and Sybil Georgina Humphreys, coil winder, 14, Maple Grove, Rugby, were summoned at Rugby on Wednesday, before Alderman C. W. Browning, M.B.E. (in the chair), and Mrs. E. D. Miller, O.B.E., for purchasing liquor for consumption on licensed premises whilst being under age 18. 

Both pleaded guilty. 

P.S. Sutton said he went to the public bar of the Saracen's Head, and saw the two defendants, together with another girl, at a table near the door. Each girl had a partly-filled half-pint glass of mild beer in front of her. He questioned defendants, who said their were between 17 and 18. He told them they were committing an offence and asked for an explanation, and Humphreys said "I thought it would all right have a shandy, but after I had had drink Dorothy said it was beer and not shandy." White said she thought it would be all right to have a shandy, and she bought the drinks, but there was no lemonade so they had beer. Witness ascertained that the drinks were served by the wife of the licensee, who thought the girls were over 18. He also ascertained that each girl paid for her own drink, and White took the money to the counter. 

Superintendent Wood said nothing was known against either of the girls. 

The mother of Humphreys said she would like a little supervision for her daughter, who was easily led. The girl’s morals were all right, but she thought she could come on at what hour she chose at night. 

The Chairman and the Bench considered this type of case very serious. Defendants were placed on probation for 6 months, and were ordered to pay the costs of 4/- each. 

Another girl, aged 15 3/4 years, pleaded guilty to a similar offence at the same time and place and was placed on probation for 6 months, and ordered to pay the costs of 4/-.

P.C. Sutton said the girl said in explanation "I understood it would be all right yo go in and have a shandy. I don't know the difference between shandy and beer." 

Superintendent Wood said nothing was known against the girl, but the police regarded these offences as serious.

The girl told the Bench she was sorry. It was about the second occasion on which she had been in a public house.

The girl's father said he was astonished to hear about the case. His daughter had not been brought up that way, and he did think her brothers and sisters in the Forces either smoked or drank. 

The Chairman said the Bench took a rather serious view of the case.
Rugby Advertiser - Friday 28 January 1944, page 5.

The older girls were just a few months under age,  but were put on probation. For drinking a half of Mild. It seems way over the top. Would it have been considered so serious had they been boys? I think not. 

The statement "nothing was known against either of the girls" is revealing and is why I think the police found it a serious matter. The underlying concern appears to me that the girls were prostitutes. 

It's interesting that the licensee wasn't prosecuted. That's what would happen today and the girls would be just told off.

On top of it all, a WW II Mild could well have been under 3% ABV. Hardly any stronger than shandy. A half was wasn't going to get you anything like pissed.

Saturday 21 November 2020

Let's brew - 1942 William Younger XXP

The first half of 1842 was a crazy time at William Younger. Multiple changes were made to the ingredients, gravity and process of their beers. Not just from month to month, but sometimes from week to week.

This beer exemplifies a specific phase in the evolution of Younger’s recipes. When they were playing around with multiple different adjuncts. Grits were on their way out, but were still present in some beers. There was still some rice kicking around, though flaked barley was becoming more prevalent.

Barley also came in another couple of forms: ground and chit. The former is, I assume, simply raw barley ground up. Which must be the simplest way to use unmalted barley, requiring less energy and manpower than flakes.

The gravity is 9º on pre-war. Leaving it pretty damn watery, at only a little over 3% ABV. The boiling times for the two worts have also been reduced from 105 and 120 minutes, to 75 and 105 minutes.

At least the Kent employed hops were pretty fresh, all coming from the most recent, 1941, harvest. It’s just that there were bugger all of them, leaving XXP with a puny 10 (calculated) IBUs.

This being a draught beer, it was most likely coloured up to a variety if shades at racking time. Though a little may have escaped with the colour as brewed.

1942 William Younger XXP
pale malt 7.00 lb 87.50%
ground barley 1.00 lb 12.50%
Fuggles 75 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.25 oz
OG 1033
FG 1008
ABV 3.31
Apparent attenuation 75.76%
IBU 10
SRM 3.5
Mash at 153º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 75 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale


Friday 20 November 2020

AA for the stranded time traveller

Emergency recovery service for stranded time travellers - a sort of insurance.

Raw material costs in WW II

There was a big increase in the price of both malt and hops, unsurprisingly, over the course of the war. If Barclay Perkins is typical, this had the effect of raising the percentage of the cost of raw materials relative to the retail price.

In 1939, before the war began, the cost of the malt, adjunct and sugar used in the brewing of XX came to just over 7% of the retail price. Especially considering that the tax paid was slightly over 2d per pint. Or around a third of the 6d public bar price.

The “XX share” column is there because the brew was a parti-gyle with X, Barclay Perkins Ordinary Mild. There was rather more of that brewed than XX, hence the latter’s share is only around a third of the total.

The situation was very different in 1945. The share of raw materials had more than doubled to just over 15%. While the tax paid had leapt to 7.5d per pint – almost two-thirds of the price public bar punters paid.  Ever since, a huge percentage of the retail price of beer in the UK has been made up of tax. Whereas before WW I tax, was only around 10% of the price. Those lucky Edwardians.

21st June 1939 Barclay Perkins XX
malt.hops qtrs/cwts price total XX share
amber malt 4 51.5 206 79.96
crystal malt 6 46.5 279 108.30
Californian pale malt 19 47 893 346.63
Hama pale malt 10 42.5 425 164.97
mild malt 33 50 1650 640.47
SA malt 17 49 833 323.34
maize 17 36 612 237.55
No. 3 invert sugar 15 42 630 244.54
MK Fuggles 1938 2.36 196 462 179.33
MK Fuggles 1938 2.32 197 457.32 177.51
MK Fuggles 1937 2.38 181 431.49 167.49
total     6878.81 2670.09
OG 1044.8      
barrels brewed 260.25      
cost per pint 0.43      
retail price per pint (d) 6      
% raw materials 7.12%      
Barclay Perkins brewing record held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/623.

13th July 1945 Barclay Perkins XX
malt.hops qtrs/cwts price total XX share
amber malt 4 161 644 315.64
crystal malt 6 146 876 429.35
SA malt 17 142 2414 1183.15
mild malt 33 142 4686 2296.71
PA malt 17 152 2584 1266.47
flaked barley 17 110 1870 916.53
No. 3 invert sugar 15 99 1485 727.83
MK Fuggles 1943 0.61 385 233.75 114.57
MK Fuggles 1943 0.78 385 299.06 146.58
MK Fuggles 1941 0.78 333 258.67 126.78
total     15350.48 7523.61
OG 1035.4      
barrels brewed 172.75      
cost per pint 1.81      
retail price per pint (d) 12      
% raw materials 15.12%      
Barclay Perkins Circular Letters held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number ACC/2305/01/521/1.




Thursday 19 November 2020

Public House Theft

You've probably already guessed that this is another crime posts. This time featuring a rather nasty character.

"Public House Theft
North Shields Seaman Gets
Four Months’ Hard Labour

"William Dominic Talbot Welsh (25). seaman, of 26 Washington Terrace, North Shields, appeared on remand before the magistrates at Tynemouth Police Court today charged with breaking and entering between April 10 and 11 the Artillery Arms public house in Albion Road. North Shields, and stealing £10 belonging to James Henry Tuck.

At the request of Insp. J. J. Scott, the Bench allowed the charge to be reduced to one of theft to enable the case to be dealt with summarily. Accused pleaded guilty to stealing the money.

The chairman (Aid. R. Middlemiss) said accused had a very bad record, and he would be sent to prison for four months with hard labour.

William Falconer, of Marine Terrace. North Shields, manager of the Artillery Arms, said at 11 15 p.m. on April 10 he left the premises securely fastened up. and when he returned at 8 20 am. the following morning he found they had been broken into, the cash register smashed and the sum of £10 stolen.

Det. Darling said he found that entrance had been gamed by climbing the backyard wall and breaking a window at the rear.

Following inquiries on May 1, he arrested accused in Saville Street, took him to the .Central Police Station and charged him with the breaking and entering. He replied, "I did not do it. That is all."

Inspector Scott said this was accused’s 24th appearance. He was a native of North Shields. In 1931 he was bound over at the Juvenile Court for 12 months and placed on probation for larceny, in 1932 he received six strokes of the birch for stealing, and in 1933 he was sent to an approved school for larceny.

He went to sea in 1937 and was called up for service in the R N.R. after the outbreak of war, but was discharged in 1943 on condition that he returned to the Merchant Navy.

In January last he was charged with shopbreaking and stealing ladies costumes, dresses etc., to the value of £190 This charge was reduced to larceny and he was sent to prison for three months with hard labour.

He was released from prison on March 22. His other offences included five charges o' drunkenness, three of assaulting the police and three of being an absentee from the Navy."
Shields Daily News - Tuesday 09 May 1944, page 5.

 That's quite some record. 24 court appearances at age 25 is impressive. And a whole variety of offences. Theft, violence, drunkenness and desertion. He started at a young age, too: 12.

I wonder if the police just went around to Welsh's place when a burglary was reported? One-man crime wave that he was.

Sounds like the navy was glad to be rid of him. I'd have way preferred to being in the Royal Navy to the merchant navy. Far safer. Who would want to be on an Arctic convoy? 

The Artillery Arms no linger exists. The premises are currently a curry house. There is still a pub,  Odfellows, a little further down Albion Road.

Wednesday 18 November 2020

The perfect Christmas gift for home brewers

What better gift for the home brewer in your life than a recipe for a beer brewed on their birthday?

For a mere 25 euros, I'll create a bespoke recipe for any day of the year you like. As well as the recipe, there's a few hundred words of text describing the beer and its historical context and an image of the original brewing record.

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Let's Brew Wednesday - 1940 William Younger XXP Btlg

A little thing like a global conflict didn’t deter Younger from continuing to brew a baffling array of Pale Ales. One being the bottling version of XXP.

The OG is down 2º from the previous year. And the cuts in strength weren’t going to stop these. At this point it’s looking very much like. I’ve dropped the FG by 3º from the one listed in the brewing record, as it’s a cleansing rather than a racking gravity.

In the grist, the big change is the addition of flaked rice. The result of which is a reduction in the proportion of pale malt. I’m slightly surprised that they still had any stocks of grits left, as imports of maize had been cut off for a year. Younger was a bit unusual when it came to adjuncts, as you’ll see when we get to 1942. The year they used a ridiculous selection of different ones.

As usual, the hops were all from Kent, about a quarter from the 1939 harvest and the rest from 1938.

Don’t pat too much attention to the colour. The one listed is as brewed. In the glass, it would probably have been darker, given Scottish brewers’ enthusiasm for colouring up beer with caramel.

1940 William Younger XXP Btlg
pale malt 5.50 lb 62.86%
flaked rice 1.75 lb 20.00%
grits 1.50 lb 17.14%
Fuggles 105 min 0.75 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.125 oz
OG 1038
FG 1011
ABV 3.57
Apparent attenuation 71.05%
IBU 16
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast WLP028 Edinburgh Ale