We are pleased to welcome Chesterfield pub and brewery historian John Hirst’s new book on the Chesterfield Brewery Company.
Whilst VCH seeks to chronicle local communities, including breweries and public houses, it is not designed to replace research like that by John. In fact, we have used some of John’s previous research, published in his 2005 book ‘Chesterfield pubs …’, in our VCH spin-off ‘Chesterfield Streets and Houses’.
John’s new 28-page book, ‘The Chesterfield Brewery – the story of Chesterfield’s second largest brewery’, chronicles its rise and fall. Also included is information on some of the directors, including the Mills and Burkitt families. There’s a map and plan, list of the brewery’s pubs and photographs.
The brewery, which opened in 1854, occupied a site at the junction of Brimington Road, Brewery Street and Infirmary Road. The Trebor factory occupied the site until recent years, incorporating some of the brewery buildings. It’s now part of the Riverside development, with new offices currently under construction on a part of the site.
John charts how the brewery company acquired the wine, spirit and mineral water business of TP Wood, High Street, Chesterfield (and producer of a locally famous almanac) in 1911. But the end of the 1920s and into the early 1930s saw a decline in the company. This was despite 1920s investment in some grandiose public house schemes. These included the Hollingwood Hotel, Poolsbrook Hotel, Spital Hotel and the Gardeners Arms (all Chesterfield area) and the White Post at Farnsfield.
In late 1934 the Mansfield Brewery Company took over the Chesterfield brewery and promptly closed it down in January of the following year.
You can read more of the story in John’s book, which is available by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is £4 plus postage. it’s also available from Chesterfield tourist information centre or the Chesterfield museum.
This blog was revised on 27 August 2021 to correct the date TP Wood’s business was acquired by the Chesterfield Brewery Company (in 1911 not the previously stated 1921) and to correct a minor typographical error.
We make extensive use of school inspectors reports and school log books in our VCH ‘Red Books’ as we plot the history of education in a particular parish. Here we look briefly a Barlborough, where some of the comments made by the Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools in the late 19th century were quite severe.
With only a few exceptions, the inspectors made uniformly poor reports. For example in 1876 they found the school was unpopular with parents and numbers on role had decreased. Early in the 20th century the inspectors found the schoolroom was dirty with a lack of separate classrooms. One of the problems appears to have been with the headmaster’s attitude and lack of staff. In 1898 an assistant was teaching 55 boys, with the headmaster only 18, both in the same room.
The school was transferred to the county education department in 1903. A new headmaster – David Barnfield – appointed two years later found the school in an ‘indescribable’ state with poor discipline and low standards of work. It was he who helped turn the school around. He was there for over 30-years – the school receiving excellent reports throughout.
The premises are pictured here in 2021. Part of the buildings probabaly date back to 1866, when they were originally erected by the Rodes estate. They were extended in 1911, with further new classrooms added in 2000 and 2002. For some time, the memorial gateway we featured in our recent post formed an entrance to the buildings.