28th Oct, 2016

Digging up Leamington's social history

Leamington Editorial 27th Mar, 2015 Updated: 7 hours ago

RECOVERING alcoholics made an ironic discovery during community work when they stumbled across a sign – from a historic Leamington brewery.

Members of the alcohol and drugs teams were digging a new allotment on Radford Road as part of a programme by the organisation ESH Works, which works with addicts to help them quit.

They stumbled across a sign for the Leamington Brewery which brewed its last pint from its Lillington Avenue base in the town in the 1920s.

Paul Urmston, chief executive of ESH Works, said: “It looks like it has been buried for years.

“The really ironic thing is that our allotment is part of our community project for the residents of our supported house for people who are abstinent from alcohol and drugs and are in recovery.

“We found the sign when our members were digging the allotment to get it ready for the house residents to start to cultivate the plot as part of their recovery programme. The sign was buried flat under the ground near the side of our allotment shed.

“We couldn’t believe it as we wiped off the mud and soil as it slowly revealed its secret. It’s about five feet high and three feet wide and looks like it’s enamel or paint on a metal sheet.”

The Leamington Brewery’s history stretches back to 1840 when first set up by Jone Tone.

It was sold iin 1885 together with 34 pubs in Warwickshire.

The brewery then initially became known as Lucas and Company, then Lucas, Blackwell and Arkwright.

It was taken over again in the 1920s by Ansells who then sold the building.

In 1974 the site passed to Warwick District Council which later sold the buildings for conversion into houses and apartments, with further new properties being built on other parts of the site. This development opened in 1989 and is now known as The Maltings.