The brewery at Little Harwood dated back as far as 1875, when it was called The Little Harwood Brewery Company. In 1878 it was acquired by James Beardsworth and H. S. Whalley. Fourteen years later, in 1892, they sold it on to Alfred Nuttall. By 1897, it had become Nuttall & Company Limited. It remained as such for 30 years, until 1927 when Matthew Brown & Company Limited of Preston took over.
In 1985, the giant Scottish & Newcastle company launched a bid to take over the Lion Brewery, valuing it at 100 million, but as it was believed all they really wanted was to close it down, eliminating some of their competition, it was opposed by many and even led to the forming of The Matthew Brown Preservation Society. Alas, S & N came back with a valuation of 186 million in 1987 and eventually got their way. By 1992 the brewery was closed, 170 or so people made redundant and the rest, as they say, is history. The lion roars no more.
Top and above, two images of the brewery courtesy of Cottontown and the Local Studies Dept. Blackburn Library.
Below are a few artifacts and collectibles, some from my own collection. All the photos will enlarge a bit, if you click on them.
Carved stonework at The Seven Trees
Close up of one of the ceramic tiles in the Seven Trees pub. I asked the contractors working on the conversion if they could maybe save me one. Sadly, when I went back a week later, they had all been removed and I was told none survived intact.
The oldest labelled bottle I have, Kings Ale, which was a very potent brew. The glass is embossed 'Nuttall's Blackburn' so the bottle pre dates the 1927 Matthew Brown takeover.
Nice little glass, the sort you might have poured your Kings Ale into.
Bar water jug.
Old advertisement from a 1967 Preston North End football programme.
1940's / 1950's glass ashtray.
Metal (copper alloy) sign that was once by the side of many a pub doorway.
Advertising, bar-room display card from the 1940's I think. Not a brew I personally remember, nor do I see where Tom fits into the Lion Brewery story. Maybe it was just introduced as an answer to Thwaites 'Old Dan' which was a very popular barley wine.
Large stoneware flagon from the days (pre 1927) when it was Nuttall & Co's Lion Brewery.
INFO COURTESY OF MIKE ROTHWELL AND THE INTERNET.
IMAGES COURTESY OF COTTONTOWN (THE TWO PICTURES OF THE BREWERY) AND THE REST, THE CP COLLECTION