Timothy Bentley of Southowram, Halifax, purchased around 70 acres of land at Lockwood, which included the Horse Bank Spring, with his brewery opening the following year. The combination of the spring water and Bentley's pioneering Yorkshire Square brewing method produced high quality strong ales, including dark full-bodied Timothy Ale.
Following Timothy Bentley's death in 1830, his executors took over the running of the business and installed his son-in-law, William Shaw, as the manager.
A fire broke out on 28 May 1838, damaging "nine quarters of malt". At the subsequent Sessions for West Riding, an application was made to reclaim the £9 6s. duty paid on the malt.
After William's death in September 1840, his son Bentley Shaw became the manager.
Once Timothy Bentley's youngest daughter came of age, the executors placed the entire business up for auction in June 1843:
VALUABLE BREWERY, with Malt Houses, Cottages, Stables, and superior Dwelling-house, with excellent Land adjoining, situate at Lockwood, near Huddersfield, in the West-Riding of the County of York.
Messrs. T. & W. HARDWICK are instructed by the Executors of the late Timothy Bentley, Esquire, to offer for peremptory SALE BY AUCTION, at the George Hotel, in Huddersfield aforesaid, on Thursday, the First Day of June next, at Two o’Clock in the Afternoon precisely, in One Lot, subject to such Conditions as will be then and there produced:—
ALL that old-established BREWERY, extensively known as LOCKWOOD BREWERY, at present in the Occupation of the said Executors, capable of brewing upwards of Three Hundred and Fifty Barrels per Week, with conveniently arranged Malt Houses, turning off One Hundred and Sixty Quarters every Eight Days ; together with Seven Cottages suitable for Workmen, and Stabling for upwards of Twenty Horses. Also all that superior FAMILY RESIDENCE, with double Coach House, and excellent Stabling for Six Horses, a Hot-house constructed upon the most approved Plan, and Two large Gardens and Pleasure Grounds adjoining. And also Three Acres of excellent LAND, (more or less.)
The above Premises are of Freehold and Leasehold Tenure. The Brewery is abundantly supplied with a never-failing Spring of pure Water, and has also the Advantage of Water Power for Grinding Malt, and all other necessary Purposes. It is well worthy the Attention of any Party desirous of embarking in the Brewing Business, being situate in a densely populated District, and has been advantageously carried on by the late Proprietor and his Executors for nearly Half a Century, and is now to be disposed of solely in compliance with the last Will and Testament of the said Timothy Bentley.
At the same Time and Place will be offered, in separate Lots, the following well-accustomed INNS or PUBLIC HOUSES and BEER HOUSES, with the Outbuildings, Land, and Appurtenances to the same respectively belonging, namely, — The Robin Hood Inn, at Park Gate, in Almondbury, near Huddersfield, — The Bull’s Head Inn, Beast Market, Huddersfield, — The Brown Cow Inn, Holmfirth, — The Grey Horse Inn and Buildings, adjoining Chapel Hill, Huddersfield, — The Dean Wood Beer House, Big Valley, South Crosland, near Huddersfield, — The Horse and Jockey, and Butcher's Shop adjoining, Daw Green, Dewsbury, — The Wool Pack Inn and Buildings adjoining, Deighton, near Huddersfield, — A Beer House in Trinity street, Huddersfield, in the Occupation of Edward Oxley, — The Victoria Tavern, (formerly known as the Saddle Inn,) Westgate, Huddersfield, — The Grove House Inn, at Park Grove, near Huddersfield, and The Britannia Inn, Manchester Street, Huddersfield.
The brewery was sold to Bentley Shaw, for £8,000, who then formed a partnership with two of his cousins — Robert John Bentley and Henry Bentley. The remaining assets reportedly purchased by other members of the family.
Considerable damage was also done at the Lockwood brewery, belonging to Messrs. Bentley and Shaw. The flood got hold of the premises so far as to extinguish the fires belonging to the gas ovens — entered the gardens and the vinery, and removing and destroying a number of valuable articles. The flood rendered the bridge behind the baths at Lockwood dangerous to pass over — made an opening through the wall, and damaged the plants and shrubberies in the garden. The recess on the south side of the public pump has been much injured, and many yards of the wailing on the side of the river carried away.
Employees of the various breweries owned by Bentley and Shaw collected over £110 towards the flood relief fund.
From 1857 onwards, a dispute grew over the public's right to draw water from the Horse Bank Spring. A letter to the editor published in the Huddersfield Chronicle on 26 December 1857 stated the company's position:
In your paper of Saturday last there appeared a communication under the signature of "A Water Slave," respecting the water supply for Lockwood, in which we find the following statement:—
"Horsebank Spring is excellent water, and plenty of it, when not taken by the brewery. The well belongs to the town, but is too far off."
We need hardly say that the latter sentence quoted is incorrect.
As to the surplus water (if any) the public hare a right to fetch it, but the spring or reservoir is our own private property, and has been enclosed within the curtilage of the brewery for the last 60 years.
We remain, dear Sir, yours respectfully.
BENTLEY AND SHAW.
Lockwood Brewery, Dec. 24th, 1857.
By 1869, Bentley Shaw was facing strong opposition over the use of the spring and he wrote to the Mayor in December:
My dear Mr. Mayor, I have now the pleasure to place in your hands my promised letter in reply to the deputation from the Town Council who so courteously waited on me in reference to the Horsebank Spring, and I must apologise for the slight delay which has arisen, not. however, from any fault of my own, but from circumstances which it has been impossible for me to control. My anxiety has always been, and still is, to afford every possible accommodation to my fellow-villagers, consistently with the private rights of myself and my partners, and if, at any time, during extreme scarcity of water the requirements of oar trade have appeared antagonistic to the public needs it has only been so for a very short period when we, as well as they, were bound alike to suffer from the general scarcity. I have always sympathised extremely with the people of Lockwood when they have been subjected to privation and inconvenience by the general scarcity of water, and I would only have been too happy to have afforded them a larger measure of relief if it bad been in my power to have done so. At the present time, and for many months hence, there will be an ample supply for all. As I understand you to state, however, that active measures are likely to be adopted without delay for the construction of large and extensive waterworks, which will afford to the inhabitants of Lockwood, and to the district generally, a regular and unfailing supply of excellent water, I cheerfully consent without prejudice to the rights of my firm, to make arrangements for the public to have a mere adequate supply during times of great scarcity, and until more general provision is secured. In order to attain that object it is our intention, at no little cost to ourselves, to increase our water-storing capacity by means of a large tank which will enable us to collect, in times of plenty, a sufficient quantity previous to the return of drought and scarcity. By this means we snail hope to obviate farther inconvenience until we can all rejoice in the full enjoyment of that highest boon and richest blessing — an abundant and never-failing supply of good water. Again thanking you, Mr. Mayor, and the other members of the deputation for your kindness and courtesy, I remain, with much respect, your very faithful and obedient servant, Bentley Shaw.
The situation was exacerbated by the poor quality of the river water at Lockwood, partly due to the brewery discharging waste from the brewing process into it. The Town Council considered the letter, but felt the offer would not appease the residents of Lockwood. Whilst no satisfactory resolution was reached regarding the spring, the issue was resolved when a mains water supply was built to serve Lockwood from a nearby service reservoir.
Plans for a new cellar at the brewery were approved by the Town Council in July 1869.
In August 1870, the brewery's timekeeper, James Sykes of Dog Hall, met with an accident at the brewery. It seems he had been taking a nap in one the stable hay lofts when he fell about 12 feet onto the stable floor. Sykes landed on his back and suffered a serious neck injury, which proved fatal. Before he died, Sykes made a statement to Dr. Scott of Huddersfield that the accident was entirely his own fault and the subsequent inquest returned a verdict of "accidental death."
In April 1871, a cart full of empty barrels pulled by two horses met with an accident near Paddock when both horses bolted. The driver jumped down and tried to "seize the head of the shaft horse" but was unable to check their speed. Eventually one of the horses stumbled and brought the other down, "throwing empty barrels in all directions." Reportedly the animals were uninjured by the incident.
An annual tradition of the brewery was for Bentley Shaw to give presents to the widows of men who had died whilst in the employ of the brewery. For Christmas 1875, 13 widows were presented with one guinea and a Christmas Cake. Another annual event was the yearly "wake supper" in which current and former employees were invited to a meal.
44-year-old employee Elijah Ingerham (or Ingeram), an American born cooper who lived in Cowcliffe, was killed whilst crossing the line at Lockwood Station at 5:55pm on Tuesday 24 April 1877. At the inquest, it was stated that he had suffered from rheumatism and this affected how quickly he could move, but it also seemed that the deceased had had his back to the oncoming train whilst crossing the tracks. One outcome of the accident was that the railway company finally built a subway to join the two platforms at the station.
In January 1878, employee William Sykes of Northumberland Street was charged with stealing bottle of ale from the brewery. The accused had apparently made a hole in the wall between a hay loft and bottle store, and had reached through to steal the bottles. After the hole had been discovered, Police Constable Ainley concealed himself in the stable and witnessed Sykes go up to the hay loft and come down with some bottles. In court, Sykes claimed that Joe Thornton had been the one responsible for making the hole and a warrant was granted for his arrest. In the meantime, Sykes was sent to Wakefield Gaol for one month.
Bentley Shaw died on 20 March 1878, aged 62. The company was then run by his son, John Lancaster Shaw, in partnership with Robert John Bentley.
The brewery was fined 10 shillings in in May 1878 for allowing "thick smoke to be emitted from their large chimney." A later prosecution for the same offence in December 1890 was dismissed by the magistrates.
The Duke and Duchess of Albany visited Huddersfield in October to formally open Beaumont Park. A number of newspapers reported that Joseph Eastwood, the "head cellarman at Lockwood Brewery", had brazenly approached the Duke, shook his hand and then asked loudly, "How's t' mother?" Immediately seeing the funny side of the encounter, the Duke responded, "She is quite well, thank you." Eastwood replied, "Aye, and aw hope she'll reign for many years to come!" before noting that he took the Illustrated London News and that the Duke had his mother's nose. Eastwood later spent "an hour with the Duke's coachman at the Beaumont Arms Inn" in Kirkheaton whilst the Duke was visiting the church. When the carriage departed, the Duke spotted Eastwood and cordially raised his hat in acknowledgement.
When Bentley Shaw's son, John Lancaster Shaw, married in the summer of 1884, the staff and workpeople of the brewery held a presentation of gifts to the couple — an illuminated scroll to the groom and a Davenport to the bride.
A "fine turret striking clock" manufactured by Messrs. William Potts and Sons of Leeds was installed at the brewery in May 1890. During the same month, the brewery was found guilty of "defrauding the Inland Revenue Department" by allow false entries to be made in the company's account books. The company was found guilty and fined £50.
The brewery was featured in The Noted Breweries of Great Britain and Ireland: Volume 4 (1891) by Alfred Barnard, by which time the company was being run by Robert John Bentley, John Lancaster Shaw, Edward Stanhope Shaw, and Harry Cumberland Bentley, the latter three being great-grandsons of Timothy Bentley.
In October 1891, the brewery registered as a limited company, becoming "Bentley and Shaw Limited." This change necessitated the company reapplying for their spirits licence at the Brewster Sessions in 1892.
By the beginning of 1895, the company had installed one of "Mr. Elliott's Patent Smoke and Fumes Annihilators" on their main chimney. The device reportedly scrubbed and trapped most of the particulate content of the smoke so that only a "harmless white vapour" was released from the chimney.
In September 1895, the company celebrated their centenary with a grand banquet held at the Armoury, Ramsden Street, on the evening of 5 September. The following day, around 300 employees and their families were treated to a day trip to Scarborough, leaving Lockwood Station at 6:40am and returning at 10pm.
The popularity of the centenary excursion led to the annual employee supper being replaced with an annual day trip. In June 1898, the company took a party of around 300 to Liverpool, where a large number of employees were treated to a tour of the White Star Line Company's liner Majestic, which was preparing to set sail to New York. On the return journey, the office staff were treated to a smoking concert in the first class saloon, which included speeches and songs performed by Madame Phillips.
On Friday 8 June 1900, four employees of Messrs. Longbottom and Sons, plasterers of Lockwood, were whitewashing one of the brewery's cellars when their temporarily scaffolding collapsed. Lewis Goldthorpe of Albert Street managed to grab a nearby beam, but his colleagues fell onto the concrete floor — Vernal Whitehead (aged 39) of Hanson Lane suffered head injuries and a fractured thigh, Ben Wood (29) of Rashcliffe Hill suffered ankle injuries, and Michael Kelley (40) of Windsor Court suffered a sprained ankle. Whitehead and Wood were taken to the Huddersfield Infirmary to recover.
The drought of 1901 led to Huddersfield Corporation limiting the residential water supply to six hours a day, and then just four hours a day. However, Bentley & Shaw Ltd gave permission for local residents to make use of the brewery's water supply for drinking purposes.
Managing Director Nathan Jagger celebrated his 50th year with the company in March 1902, having first joined in 1852 aged 16. He was presented with several gifts by his co-directors, staff and employees. To further celebrate, a special train was laid on to take around 300 staff and employees to Belle Vue Gardens in Manchester. Although Jagger retired in 1911, he was treated to a diamond celebration meal on 18 March 1912. He died two years later on 22 March 1914.
John Lancaster Shaw, the Chairman of the brewery, died aged 68 in Torquay in October 1912. Several newspapers reported that a new Last Will and Testament revoked his previous charitable bequests — "I declare that in consequence of the Socialistic tendency of national finance at the present time, I omit the legacies to charities given in my former will." His estate was worth over £110,000, which was primarily dividing amongst his immediate family and his many nieces. Another one of the chairmen, Harry C. Bentley, died at Market Harborough in April 1913.
Nathan Jagger's son, managing director Herbert Jagger, celebrated his 50 years with the company in July 1928 and was presented with a silver reading lamp, a walking stick, and a cut-glass fruit bowl.
in February 1930, an application by the company to sell bottled beers to the public from the brewery was objected to by the Chief Constable and by Thomas Smailes, but was granted on the proviso that "the sales should not be of less that one dozen half-pint bottles at a time."
Heavy rains in September 1931 caused widespread flooding in Yorkshire, including in the Holme valley between Armitage Bridge and Lockwood. It was reported that the brewery was flooded and that 40 women were trapped at the nearby Dungeon Mills for several hours.
Employee Hanson Mitchell (aged 58) had to be cut free using specialist equipment after his right hand was trapped in a barrel-washing machine on 15 March 1934. It took around 30 minutes to release him and his right hand was later amputated at Huddersfield Infirmary.
In the summer of 1944, the Bentley and Shaw Limited was merged with Hammond's Brewery of Bradford and plans were announced to expand the Lockwood Brewery.
Thieves broke into the brewery's warehouse in October 1947, stealing 272 bottles of whisky and 47,400 cigarettes. It was estimated that the whisky was worth up to £1,000 on the black market. Fingerprints left at the scene resulted in the arrests of Norman Starkey (aged 25), Kenneth Keegan (26) and Ernest Marren (28). Half of the whisky and two-thirds of the cigarettes were recovered from a van owned by Starkey.
Notes and References
- Presentation given by Bob Tomlinson to the Huddersfield Local History Society on 29 February 2016. Further notes from the presentation have been incorporated into the article.
- Bradford Observer (12/Jul/1838).
- "Sales by Auction: Lockwood Brewery" in Leeds Mercury (29/Apr/1843).
- "The Lockwood Brewery" in Leeds Mercury (03/Jun/1843).
- "Awful Catastrophe and Fearful Loss of Life at Holmfirth" in Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Feb/1852).
- Meeting of the Town Council" in Huddersfield Chronicle (18/Dec/1869).
- Meeting of the Town Council" in Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Jul/1869).
- "Fatal Fall of a Timekeeper at the Lockwood Brewery" in Huddersfield Chronicle (20/Aug/1870).
- "Paddock: Runaway Horses" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Apr/1871).
- "Lockwood: Christmas Boxes" in Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Jan/1876).
- "Employes at Lockwood Brewery" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (16/Oct/1876).
- "The Fatal Accident at Lockwood Station" in Leeds Mercury (27/Apr/1877) and Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (27/Apr/1877).
- "Huddersfield Borough Police Court" in Huddersfield Chronicle (12/Jan/1878).
- "Smoke Prosecutions" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (16/May/1878).
- "Alleged Smoke Nuisance at Lockwood Brewery" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (11/Dec/1890).
- "Treat to Workpeople" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (20/Aug/1883).
- "An Incident of the Royal Visit to Huddersfield" in Berrow's Worcester Journal (27/Oct/1883).
- "Presentation at Lockwood Brewery" in Huddersfield Chronicle (02/Aug/1884).
- "A New Lockwood Clock" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (16/May/1890).
- "Prosecution of a Firm of Brewers" in Leeds Mercury (22/May/1890).
- "Brewster Sessions" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (25/Aug/1892).
- "Death of Edward Stanhope Shaw" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (09/Aug/1893).
- "The Smoke Nuisance and How to Cure It" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (11/Jan/1895).
- "Lockwood Brewery Centenary in Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Sep/1895).
- "Lockwood Brewery Centenary: A Trip to Scarborough" in Huddersfield Chronicle (14/Sep/1895).
- "Messrs. Bentley and Shaw's Employes' Outing" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (29/Jun/1898).
- "Scaffold Accidents at Lockwood Brewery" in Leeds Mercury (09/Jun/1900).
- "Four Hours Only at Huddersfield" in Leeds Mercury (05/Oct/1901).
- "Death of Mr. Nathan Jagger" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (23/Mar/1914).
- "Charitable Bequests Revoked by the Testator" in Western Times (09/Dec/1912).
- Yorkshire Evening Post (25/Apr/1913).
- Yorkshire Post (09/Jul/1928).
- "Gaming in Pubs" in Yorkshire Evening Post (12/Feb/1930).
- "Damage in the North" in Yorkshire Post (05/Sep/1931).
- "Trapped by Hand: Fire Station Help in Huddersfield Rescue" in Yorkshire Post (16/Mar/1934).
- "Traditions of Bentley and Shaw, Ltd. in Yorkshire Post (02/May/1939).
- "Proposed Merger of Breweries" in Yorkshire Post (27/May/1944).
- "£1,000 Whisky Haul at Huddersfield" in Yorkshire Post (11/Oct/1947).
- "Custody Unjust Says Leeds Solicitor" in Yorkshire Evening Post (20/Oct/1947).