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08-03-2018, 09:46
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It’s International Women’s Day which seems like a good reason to share this collection of pictures of women working in breweries and pub we’ve been bookmarking in old brewery magazines.There’s an editorial choice being made here, of course: to find these pictures of cool women doing cool stuff we had to wade through a lot of photos of secretaries sitting on men’s laps, booth babes, hop queens, cheese maidens, and bikini competitions. Don’t think from what you see below that Whitbread, Watney’s or any of these other firms were bastions of feminism.
You’ll also note that the pictures back up what we said in the post we wrote on women in British beer a few years ago (https://boakandbailey.com/2013/09/a-brief-history-of-women-and-beer/): there’s not much evidence of female brewers in the post-war period, women being generally confined to administrative functions, bottling lines and laboratories. In fact, why not start in the lab?
https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/angela_davies_mavis_bradly_runcorn_guinness_gt_win ter_1971.jpgAngela Davies (foreground) makes up slides while Mavis Bradley checks beer samples at the Guinness kegging plant in Runcorn, c.1971.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/how_spring_1955_lab_team.jpgStaff from the Whitbread laboratory: Mrs M Collin, Mrs J.V. Crisp, (F. Briden), Mrs A. Caffell, Miss B. Lever and Miss A. Steward, at the 1954 sports and social club dinner.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/l_hutchins_stag_brewery_yeast.jpgMiss L. Hutchins examining yeast cultures at Watney’s Stag Brewery, c.1955.There’s a whole story wrapped up in this next picture: Miss A. Ames joined the staff at Whitbread’s Norwich depot in 1920, following her father who was a foreman there. She was a member of the bottling gang and then, during World War II, stepped up to become ‘forewoman’, firewatching and sleeping in the shelter in the bottling depot. Then after the war, bottling ceased and she became a cleaner and tea lady.
https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ds_april_1950_bottling_team.jpgWomen posing beside the bottling machine at Mitchells & Butlers bottling depot, Birmingham, c.1950.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ds_apr_may_1951_sheila_stimpson.jpgA reality check from the Mitchells & Butlers social club, 1951.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/gillian_holloway_judo_rb_aug_1965.jpgGillian Holloway, a typist in Watney’s free trade department, practised judo at the Butokukwai in Trowbridge and had an orange belt.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/mrs_digby_lab_judo_rb_feb_1966.jpgBut Mrs G. Digby went one better: she worked in the laboratory at Morgan’s in Norwich (a Watney’s subsidiary) and literally wrote the book on Judo for Women.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/tarry_fencing_rb_october_1966.jpgWhile Mrs R.E. Tarry, secretary to the technical director at Phipps in Northampton, another Watney’s takeover, preferred fencing.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/mary_land_darts_magnet_april_1969.jpgMary Land, licensee of the Manor Inn at Grimethorpe, won a national darts competition in 1969 and was presented with her trophy by the Duke of Edinburgh.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/antoinette_hannant_drums_rb_june_1968.jpgItalian-born Antoinette Hannant, landlady of the Jolly Butchers, Norwich, sang blues, jazz, calypso and gospel for her customers, and also played the drums from time to time.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/doreen_chadwick_magnet_april_1960.jpgWhile Doreen Chadwick, landlady of the Magnet Hotel, Oldham, played Hammond organ between gigs on BBC radio.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/florence_gosling_magnet_october_1967.jpgFlorence Gosling (centre) ran the New Theatre Hotel near Granada Studios in Manchester, with her team of mostly women serving drinks to everyone from Marlene Dietrich to the cast of Coronation Street.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/mercedes_griffith_ds_dec_1958.jpgMrs Mercedes Griffith of the New Inn, Warwick, who filled her pub with antiques, raced cars and horses before she entered the pub trade. She also boasted of having driven a steam train after stowing away.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/mrs_usher_ds_winter_1957.jpgEthel Usher ran Watsons Wine Vaults in Banbury, where she hosted and promoted boxing and wrestling matches.https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/emma_cluer_yaxley_rb_feb_1966.jpgEmma Cluer, licensee of the Hatchet and Bill, Yaxley from 1909, still working behind the bar at 85 in 1966: “If I could live my life over again, I would live it in a pub.”https://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/how_winter_1955_annie_gorman.jpgAt the 1955 Whitbread Hop Festival Annie Gorman is presented with a garland of hops to mark her 69 years of hop picking.GALLERY: Women Working in Pubs and Breweries, from the Archives (https://boakandbailey.com/2018/03/gallery-women-working-in-pubs-and-breweries-from-the-archives/) originally posted at Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog (https://boakandbailey.com)

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