Luker Information

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Lambirth, Henry William.

Henry Lambirth was a common brewer as from 28th November, 1803. An inventory taken in 1834 of "the late Henry William Lambirth's brewery" indicated that there was a 15 foot diameter horse wheel for generating power, it had 224 cogs, gudgeon bottom frame, three upright shafts which drove cold liquor, wort and beer engines, malt bruisers and mill stores. The liquor back was lead lined and made of stout fir framing. There was a pair of malt mill stones and a 42 barrel copper set in brickwork. A "Jock Back" had a perforated Elm bottom. The Oak underback held 50 barrels. All the pipework was three inch lead with brass taps. The well was 60 ft deep. This inventory was valued at £5,623 and seven shillings (35p) on 14th April, 1836, when it was sold to John English. Lambirth moved to the Chelmsford area to set up another brewery in partnership with James William Porter at Writtle. In 1855, Joseph Hardcastle and Company, with William Griffin as manager was recorded, with the chief establishment noted as at Writtle.

In 1874 the Stambridge Brewery is listed as joint ownership with the Middleton Brewery of Henry Luker and Company of Southend. The beers brewed were Stock, Old Beer, Old Mild, Mild and Table Beer, using "Goldings" and "Buchy" hops. At the 1836 sale there were 370 casks of various sizes with debts of £2,834. In stock there was 87 quarters and 6 bushels of "Clarks" pale malt and 31 quarters and one bushel of "Randells" pale malt. The brewery's tap house, The Cherry Tree which stands beside the roadside and well forward of the old brewery continues to trade today as a Truman's house. Several cottages which stood close by were demolished in the mid-1930's as was the main part of the brewery buildings behind the tap house. The owners house and a few outbuildings, sealed-off well and water reservoir all remain, the premises now occupied by Rankin Farms Ltd.

See Writtle Brewery Co. Ltd


C.J.Barnard, The Rayleigh Brewery.

This brewery was supplying beer to the local community from 1785 until 1884 under the trading title of C.J.Barnard. In 1886, Charles James Barnard was manager to Henry Lukers of Southend, also being listed as an Insurance Agent. Luker's purchased the Rayleigh Brewery in 1884 and put it up for sale in 1895 but it is apparent that it was not sold, as Luker's continued at the premises until March, 1917. At the time of purchase by Luker's four public houses were included in the sale.

The title of the concern from 1884 to 1917 was Henry Luker & Company Ltd, Rayleigh Brewery.

See C.J.Barnard

J.Woolston, The Anchor Brewery, High Street.

The business commenced prior to 1874 when John Woolston was listed, he then set up a partnership with a Mr Croft. In 1882, Frank J.Thurston was the brewer manager to John Woolston, who was listed on his own again in 1884. On his death, his widow Sarah sold one of their licenced houses, The Ship and Anchor, to W.W. Daniell and Sons, Castle Brewery, Colchester. The Anchor Brewery was sold in 1884 to Henry Luker and Company who listed it as a branch of Southend-on-Sea and was last recorded in 1906. Part of the premises are now used as the Unigate Dairy Depot.

See John Woolston


Henry Luker and Company, The Middleton Brewery, 123 High Street.

A small brewery was in existence on Southchurch Avenue c.1860, and this may well have been the originator of the well known Middleton Brewery. This was built around 1865 for Henry Luker, although a J.Cantor is listed at the Middleton Brewery in 1866. The brewery was located adjacent to the station of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway Company, who later built an extension to Shoebury, opening on 1st February, 1884. An imposing hotel, called the Middleton Hotel, also referred to for a while as the "Minerva", was incorporated within the brewery complex, situated nearest the railway. On the High Street frontage there was an equally imposing pedimented office block with the brewery yard entrance gates adjacent.

The brewhouse block was behind the offices. In 1890 extensions took place to the cask washing sheds and again in 1900 to the coopers shop. The company registered in July, 1895; they were agents for both Bass and Guinness, their own range of beers included, Mild, Bitter, strong, IPA, porter and stout, Henry Luker purchased the Rayleigh Brewery of Charles Barnard in 1886, and the Anchor Brewery of John Woolston in 1906.

Luker's as they were affectionately known, sold out in 1929 to Mann, Crossman and Paulin Ltd. of London for £285,000, the sale including 43 public houses. The brewery closed down in 1934. The prime town centre site has since been developed as retail shops.