J. Nimmo & Sons Ltd
J Nimmo & Sons Ltd, Castle Eden Brewery, Castle Eden, Durham.
Founded by John Nimmo 1826. Registered December 1892. Public company formed 1956.
Acquired by Whitbread & Co. Ltd. October 1963 with 202 tied houses.
Site cleared for housing.
THE NIMMO STORY - J NIMMO & SON LTD Castle Eden Brewery, Castle Eden, Durham
The Nimmo story is a story of a family. It starts in 1826. In that year John Nimmo leased from the Burdon family of Castle Eden the Regency building which today is still used to brew Nimmo ales. In those days Castle Eden was described as a village “2-1- miles from the sea on the high road from Stockton to Sunderland...where there is a large and commodious inn, which is the only posting house between these two towns”. This was the Commercial Inn from which the two coaches, The Royal Mail and The Pilot and Expedition, left daily.
John died in 1867. He was succeeded as Chairman by his son, William. A brewery deed of 1889 says that William Nimmo leased Brewery Malt House'...dwelling houses, offices and buildings which include the premises formerly occupied by county police stations as the same have been altered or adopted for brewing purposes or are in course of being so”.
The rent was just over £540, and included 50 to 60 acres of farmland. It was during his tenure that the firm became a limited company.
William was succeeded in 1901 by his son-in-law, John I Hopper. In 1908, W.J. Nimmo, son of William, became Chairman. On his death in 1952, he was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Mrs E.D. Trechman, who had as her joint Managing Directors, Mr. J.C.H. Booth and Mr. C.A. Macfarlan, both sons-in-law of the late Mr. W.J. Nimmo.
In 1946 the Company purchased from the Burdon family the Brewery buildings and surrounding land, on which stands the local golf course, for £18,000.
The Nimmo story is one of progress which can be measured in the milestones down the years:-
- 1864 the brewery plant remodelled
- 1869 gas lighting introduced
- 1870 extensive malting completed
- 1871 a bonded warehouse built
- 1880 private railway siding constructed
- 1909 electric power station, pumping plant and tanks and boilers installed
- 1910 four copper fermenting vessels added
- 1955 maltings installed, including a Saladin Box which trebled malt output.
Nimmo were the first brewers in the north east to adopt the crown cork in place of the old full cork, and the first to install beer canning equipment.
Nimmo were one of the first brewers in the country to install large storage tanks in public houses, thus enabling beer to be delivered by road tanker.
The Nimmo story is one of expansion. In Edwardian times the firm's output was almost doubled. In 1912 Chilton's brewery was purchased. In 1930 the properties of the Durham and North Yorkshire Public House Trust were acquired. In 1958, 20 new houses were purchased from Davison & Wood Ltd.
The company cared for its employees. In the days before the Welfare State, the company made a point of providing free medical treatment to any seriously ill members of the staff. Nimmos became part of the Whitbread group in 1963.
An assortment of views of the brewery.