Thomas William Thompson & Co

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Thomas William Thompson & Co, Wooden Box Brewery, Woodville, Derbyshire

Wooden Box was the name for the village until 1845, and Brunt, Bucknall & Co also used the term “Wooden-Box Ales” in their trade mark.

In 1877 the village was still shown as Leicestershire.

In 1855 Joseph Thompson junior was a brewer at the Joiner’s Arms, which he had run from at least 1849. His father was a manufacturer of earthenware. In 1876-77 Thompson Thomas & Thomas William were shown as running what had become the Wooden Box Brewery (F5779). TW Thompson then seems to have sold the business, since he went on to become the Head Brewer at the Derby Brewery Co. Ltd for sixteen years. He died, aged 52 on 6 May 1908.

In 1870, T Betteridge was a beer retailer and butcher in Woodville and by 1881 the business had become T Betteridge & Sons, Wooden Box Brewery. In the period 1891 to 1898, the business was operated as T Betteridge & Sons. The court case mentioned above describes this as a smaller brewery than Brunt, Bucknall & Co. At this time, W Betteridge was also shown as an earthenware manufacturer in the town. On 31st December 1899, a CH Thorpe of Woodville was attending the Midland Counties Institute of Brewing Annual Dinner, but there was no indication of his role.

However, in April 1901, a Mr Thompson of the Wooden Box Brewery was writing to Offiler's Brewery Ltd offering a beerhouse and two cottages at Coalville on 5% commission if a sale went through. Offilers declined, since they were “not buying at present”. In 1906 Thomas William Thompson was the last entry for the Wooden Box. A 1915 advertisement for the Shoulder of Mutton at Ashby Parve includes the availability of “Wooden Box Ales”, but these could have been from Brunt, Bucknall & Co.

Although there seem to be no signs of the brewery, the Joiner’s Arms is still trading and on the opposite side of the High Street are the remains of a pottery kiln and small factory.