The Last Drop: Conference at Burton-upon-Trent, March 2011

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The Last Drop: England's Surviving Brewery Heritage

A Day Conference at Burton-upon-Trent: Saturday 12 March 2011

Presented by the Brewery History Society and English Heritage

Brewery and Maltings Heritage: Find out more about the BHS / English Heritage project on 'The Brewing Industry', which provides information on all pre-1940 operating breweries, compiles a comprehensive list of historic brewery buildings, documents the industry's archives, and undertakes a national assessment on the industry, in the form of a Strategy for the Historic Industrial Environment report (SHIER). For more information go to our page: Brewery and Maltings Heritage.

About the Conference

Recent years have seen an acceleration in the rate of change affecting the brewing industry which has seen mergers, acquisitions and associated closures that pose urgent questions for all with an interest in the archives, artefacts and architecture of the industry.

This event was arranged to launch the important report on England's brewing heritage prepared by Dr Lynn Pearson and the Brewery History Society as part of English Heritage's SHIERs (Strategy for the Historic Industrial Environment Reports) programme and to consider ways forward for the conservation of this historic resource.

The Programme

We began with the SHIERs programme and then move on to the organisation, findings (breweries and archives), and recommendations of the brewing industry report, a copy of which was available to conference members. Presentations by Keith Falconer (Head of Industrial Archaeology at English Heritage) and Lynn Pearson (Author, Consultant and Lecturer).

After lunch, we turn to the conservation of brewery heritage by way of three case studies: Helen Moore (Senior Archaeologist at Gifford UK) reports on the significant findings of an excavation at the Royal Clarence Yard in Gosport, followed by presentations on the recent fate of Burton's brewing heritage (Malcolm James) and the conservation aspects of the adaptive re-use of two Newark breweries (Rebecca Lamb). Malcolm and Rebecca have recently completed dissertations on these topics.

After a short break for tea, the conference concludes with a panel discussion to identify priorities for future action.

  • 10.30am Registration & Coffee
  • The SHIERs Project
  • 11.00am Welcome and Introduction to the Conference
  • 11.30am From Grain to Glass: Formulating the Brewery Industry SHIER. Keith Falconer
  • 11.45am The Brewery SHIER Report: methodology, the breweries, archives and recommendations. Lynn Pearson
  • 12.45-1.30pm Buffet Lunch
  • Conserving the Brewery Heritage: Three Case-studies
  • 1.30pm Brewery Archaeology in the Royal Clarence Yard, Gosport. Helen Moore
  • 2.05pm Burton’s Brewing Heritage since 1984: Updating the Victorian Society’s Report. Malcolm James
  • 2.40pm Two Newark Breweries: Applying Conservation Philosophies to Adaptive Re-use. Rebecca Lamb
  • 3.15- 3.30pm Tea
  • 3.30-4.15pm The Way Forward. Mike Bone with Panel

Who Should Attend

Members of the Brewery History Society and English Heritage. Historians, industrial archaeologists and conservation workers with a serious interest in this area.

Time, Place and Cost

Coffee and registration from 10.30 am. The conference begins at 11.00 am and finishes at 4.15pm. The conference takes place in the Worthington Suite of the National Brewery Centre (formerly the Bass Museum / Coors Visitor Centre), Horninglow Street, Burton-upon-Trent DE14 1NG. The Centre is within easy reach of the A38 and M42 and a short walk/distance from Burton-upon-Trent Railway Station. A location map is available at Parking on site is free.

The fee for the day, which includes coffee, a buffet lunch, tea and a copy of the SHIERs Report on disc, was GBP 24.00. A cash bar was available.

The Brewery History Society wishes to thank English Heritage for supporting this event as part of the dissemination phase of the project. The project was funded by English Heritage's Historic Environment Enabling Programme.