A 1973 interview with Fred Wright

by janet on 14 December 2011 · 2 comments

A 1973 interview with Fred Wright

By Bob Bruce for the December 1973 issue of the Walkern Journal

Beermaking in the early middle ages was a domestic chore, starting from monasteries. Most Inns had a brew house attached – and its own special brew. Brewing became more specialised, and Maltsters more skilful in producing from the Malt – (artificially sprouted barley – not the sweet brown stuff on a spoon) – a good brew.

Locally in the mid 19th Century a maltster named Samuel Wright, with others, malted behind the Red Lion pub (now a private dwelling) also taking over another malting at old farm buildings on ground on which the Victoria Works now stand and where he star~ ed a brewery.

Fire soon destroyed these buildings, the outcome of which was the building of the present Victoria Works and the start of Messrs. Wright and Company. Brewing started about 1870.

Mr. Samuel Wright died before the completion of the new Brewery and the business was carried on under the supervision of the executors – Mr. James Bullen, ‘with Mr. James Holland as Manager and Brewer.

“Samuel Wright founded the fortunes of Walkern Brewery by his skill in the production of sparkling ales and darker coloured beers”‘said the St. James’ Review of 1907. The journal gave the secret as they use nothing but barley, long in the straw, full in the ear, and flavour only with hops.

When I visited the Wright’s home at Springhill, I was proudly shown, by Mr. Fred Wright and his sister Norah Wright, the original charter of Excise Duty Bond. In those days a duty was levied on malt. It was a surety bond of

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Polly Macmillan (Pauline) December 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm

I have also just read this piece about Wrights Brewery. My Grandfather George Drewell worked for the brewery in the 1930’s (approx) and lived with his family in ‘Brewery House’ I think it is, the house with all the ivy over the front, opposite the school. My mother said the house was always full of spiders which is why I now have a phobia!! My parents were George’;s daughter, Joyce Drewell and Vic Swain – the rest is history as they say.


Nicol December 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

I have just read this beautiful piece about Mr Fred Wright from the brewery and realised that it was written by my grandfather Bob Bruce. How lovely to see that my family’s name is embedded into Walkern life.


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