Local history – Worksop & Retford Brewery

Some time ago, Beer Matters published a request for information about the WRB, taken over by Tennants in 1958 and demolished in 1962. Thanks for all information which arrived. Visits were also made to archives in both Nottingham and Sheffield, Bassetlaw Museum in Retford, the Dukeries, the National Brewery Centre in Burton-on-Trent and, of course, Worksop itself.

The Worksop & Retford Brewery was a large employer and a landmark enterprise for the whole of Bassetlaw. Worksop malt was critical to the success of brewing operations in Manchester and the Midlands. Victorian photographs provide an indication of the sheer size of the operation. Ornate wrought iron gates opened out onto a large eye-catching and decorative five storey building, built from bricks of different colour in a style in favour at the time.

After almost four years, publication has finally happened. The almost forgotten story of what was once one of the town’s foremost industries tells a story of a brewery that was both typical of many regional, independent breweries, and yet also unique in its creative use of marketing and iconography. The illustrated publication The Worksop and Retford Brewery Company, is richly anecdotal and will be of interest to anyone interested in either Worksop and its history, or with a passing interest in beer and brewing. It also provides the historical backdrop for the forthcoming novel, Beer, Balls and the Belgian Mafia.

The book is currently available on Amazon Kindle for ‘only’ £1.53, less than the price of a pint of beer.

Dave Pickersgill

10 comments

  1. ‘Telegraphic Address: “Beer,” Worksop – The Worksop and Retford Brewery Company’
    Saturday, 17th May 2014, 1.30 pm -2.30 pm, Bassetlaw Museum, Retford – Free entry
    A presentation by Dave Pickersgill and John Stocks, authors and researchers.
    Discover the half-forgotten story of the Retford and Worksop brewery and learn about its effects on the sporting and cultural life of Bassetlaw. The associated book is available from Amazon Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/ptakjfm or search using: Worksop Brewery.

    1. While I was landscaping my garden I found a old green bottle with Worksop and record brewery on it. Is it worth keeping my children said I save everything. I looked up the history on the brewery and I cannot remember it .

  2. Worksop and Retford Brewery

    Based on Dave’s recently published history of the brewery, we recently gave a presentation at Bassetlaw Museum (Retford). We were billed to provide a one hour talk: starting at 13:30, the presentation finished at 14:30. Then the questions and comments came … so much so, that a follow-up ‘show and tell’ is set for July.

    The WRB was taken over by Tennants in 1958 and demolished in 1962. Photographs provide an indication of the sheer size of the operation. Ornate wrought iron gates opened out onto a large eye-catching and decorative five storey building, built from bricks of different colour in a style in favour at the time. There is obviously a lot of archive material, memories and anecdotes out there. We want to ensure that it is not forgotten.

    If you have any memories or artefacts from the WRB, please feel free to join us at Bassetlaw Museum at 10:30 on Saturday 19th.July. The aim is to finish by 12:30 and then adjourn to the Beer Festival at Worksop Rugby Club. The associated book is available from Amazon Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/ptakjfm or search using: Worksop Brewery.

    Dave Pickersgill & John Stocks

  3. Came across a glazed beer jug withWorksop& Retford Brewery Co on it it also has 5375 on it trying to get some info on it 4 gal

    1. Just found this. I have this exact jug with a different number. Is it of any value to anyone?

  4. Hi. I know this is an old post, I’ve just found it while looking into an advertising poster I have come across while reframing an old picture. The advert is for Portland blend of finest old highland whiskies, sole proprietors the Worksop and Retford Brewing Co.
    So far the internet searches have proved fruitless. Can anyone shed any light?
    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.