Bollington's brewers & bottlers
Golden nectar from the Happy Valley
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Parrott & Horsfield | Heaver
Bros | Other brewers | Bollington Brewing Co | Happy Valley Brewery
Parrott & Horsfield
Dyers Close (off Ingersley
Vale, opposite the Crown
Inn), previously known as Higher Mills, was once the
site of Bollington's biggest brewery, operated firstly
by Parrott & Horsfield, licensed brewers, from about
1874. John Horsfield, licensee of the Park Tavern in Macclesfield
- see glass door panel below right, joined Thomas Parrott
in partnership to establish the firm of Parrott & Horsfield.
retired from the business in 1891 due to ill health; he died
in 1893 at the age of 62 and is buried in Bollington. Parrott
continued to run the business alone but was declared bankrupt
in 1893 with assets of £6,367 11s 3d and liabilities of £10,649
picture (left) appears to be of an enamel advertising sign.
The picture of the brewery is slightly stylised, for instance
it doesn't show the Beeston or Nab hills across the valley.
John Horsfield was one of
the longest serving licensees in Macclesfield. He had seven
sons and one daughter, Sarah Jane. She was tragically
killed when her trap overturned on Chestergate in Macclesfield
on 16th February 1892. She was just 27 years old.
John outlived his wife and five
of his sons. His eldest son Walter took over the pub
and continued to run it until 1902. His other son, Arthur,
had emigrated to Australia some years before John's death.
He ran the Kent
Brewery in Sydney.
In the latter 20thC this brewery brewed an ale called Dinner
Ale. Today Dinner Ale is brewed
by the Bollington Brewing Co and is available at the Vale
Inn. Lee Wainwright, the proprietor of both the Vale and
Bollington Brewery, has also taken over the Park Tavern to
provide an outlet for his beers. What goes around comes around
- even if it did take a century and a half!
Many thanks to Frank Pegg for the picture of the Thomas
Parrott beer flask (right).
The billhead (above) was originally printed for Parrott & Horsfield. However, as Horsfield had left the business by 1891, Parrott had his stationery overprinted with 'Thomas Parrott' and 'Late' to avoid the cost of having a new set printed.
The products were sold in standard sized containers under
the headings H B K and F - Hogshead (3 Kilderkins), Barrel
(2 Kilderkins), Kilderkin (2 Firkins), Firkin (9 gallons).
The picture below, very kindly supplied by Paul Wreglesworth,
shows two Parrott stone bottles and a similar Heaver Brothers
bottles, all in first class condition (the bottles not the
beer!). Many brewers made Extra Stout and many bottles
such as these survive. However, the Stone Ale bottle is a
rarity. Heavers are described in the next section below.
Heaver Brothers Brewery, Bollington
Higher Mills brewery was acquired by Heaver Brothers in 1893,
or very shortly afterwards, who operated from the Bollington
site until the 1930s. In 1920 it became a bottling plant
for Ind Coope products, the Burton-on-Trent brewer. It was
lost in a disastrous fire on 3rd March 1931 when 36,000 bottles
were destroyed. The
fine example of a bottle (right) is possibly as early as
1910 and has the impression Heaver Bros Brewers Bollington.
See also the Heaver Brothers stone bottle in the picture
above which carried XXX Extra Stout. It is interesting to
note that this product is not included in the price list
There were two mills on the site known as Higher Mills
- the brewery occupied the newer of the two, in the centre
and left in the artist's drawing, left. The whole site
later became Shrigley Dyers dyeing and bleaching works
live to dye')
before succumbing to housing development in 2001, Dyers
George Heaver would appear to have been the driving force
behind the brewery but at the time of the sale of the business
to Allsopps of Burton-on-Trent in 1933 the directors listed
are George Heaver (address given as Eastbourne) and Stanley
Hall Homewood Heaver (described as a farmer, living in
In earlier days George lived at the house called Jevington in Grimshaw Lane. From 1896 he was a member of Bollington Urban District Council.
The Chief Brewer was at one time Mr Oldfield.
Paul Wreglesworth writes that "one imponderable seems to be when Heaver Brothers actually ceased brewing at the Bollington Brewery. They sold most of their pubs in 1920, perhaps as a consequence of the post war depression. Contemporary references to the fire of 1931 make reference to a bottling company and the destruction of many bottles but do not mention any brewing plant. Similarly the eventual sale in 1933 refers to Heaver Brothers as beer dealers and the sale particulars only refer to bottling equipment on the brewery site. Brewing probably ceased sometime before 1931 but I have been unable to pin the date down further."
The picture (above) shows a price list from Heaver Bros brewery but it is undated.
The pictures are from the collection of thousands available to be seen at the Discovery
Centre , Clarence Mill.
Heavers supplied beer to the Turners Arms, the Cock & Pheasant, the Britannia, the Grapes and the Flying Horse among others.
In operation, 1914
In 1914 it was mainly beer in barrels which would have been distributed to local pubs by horse and dray.
The 1931 fire completely destroyed the mill, and the bottling business never restarted in Bollington.
Notice the fake flames! These were added to the picture presumably by the photographer (we have three different copies). He should have used Photoshop then we might never have noticed!
George H Gill
Greenwood & Gill
Pimlott & Co
Pimlott & Gatenby
Three bottles: Pimlott & Co, Greenwood & Gill, Geo. H Gill.
Centre has in its collection bottles with
the names and the word Bollington molded into them for
the first three (picture right).
Paul Wreglesworth believes
that they may be mineral water or soft drink bottlers rather
than brewers. He has discovered that in Kelly's 1890 Cheshire
directory there is a 'mineral water manufacturer' listed
in Queen Street, Bollington. At that time they traded under
the name of Pimlott & Gatenby.
Both Thomas Pimlott and Thomas Gatenby are listed separately
(as mineral water manufacturers) in Defiance Street (sic),
just round the corner from Queen Street. Thomas Pimlott is
also listed as a 'wood turner'. See Defiance
mill. A bobbin
mill was located next to Defiance Mill in Defiance Brow;
They do not appear in the 1887/88
directory so the business was probably established toward
the end of the 1890s.
By 1910 the concern is listed simply as Pimlott & Co, mineral water manufacturer, Queen
Street. Whether Gatenby had died, moved or the partnership had simply dissolved Paul does not know.
By 1914 we still have a Pimlott & Co listed at Queen
Street but no longer as mineral water manufacturer. By that
date he is listed as 'bobbin manufacturer' perhaps drawing
on his wood turning skills that were listed back in 1890.
The picture (left) shows the bobbin mill with logs piled
outside at the bottom of Defiance Brow (now Queen Street)
in about 1905.
George H Gill were advertising bottled
waters and non-alcoholic drinks in 1928 and giving their
address as Queen Street.
It looks as though mineral water manufacturing was going
on somewhere in Queen Street for around 25-30 years from
the late 1890s to after the first world war. The Pimlott
bottle shown above would date from the later period.
The Greenwood & Gill soda syphon shown in the picture
(left) has been acquired from the USA by the Discovery Centre . It is probable that Greenwood & Gill
were based in Queen Street in the early 20thC, this bottle
dating from c.1920s.
Brewing again in the 21st Century!
Bollington Brewing Co.
In July 2008 beer was once again being brewed in Bollington,
this time by Lee Wainwright, the licensee of the Vale
Inn, Adlington Road, operating under the
Brewing Company. Lee had occasionally considered
brewing then one day at a publican's event in Suffolk he chanced
to hear of a micro brewery that wished to dispose of its brewing
equipment. A deal was done and the plant duly moved to Bollington.
The first brew was tasted at the Vale Inn on Thursday 24th July
2008 with the first retail pint going to Rob Nicholson, a local
Camra representative. The first brew was called just that - First
Brew - and a very good pint it was to! Light in colour, slightly
hoppy with an excellent flavour - my idea of the perfect pint.
I only hope Lee can produce the same again, and again, and again!
He does, today it's called Bollington Best!
The second brew was a Porter - Bollington Nights is black with
a fine head, very tasty. Several others have followed.
They have since won numerous brewing awards. Call in
and try a couple or three. See
the brewery web site.
Happy Valley Brewery
A new one in 2010, Happy
Valley Brewery is
very much a micro brewery, being located in a small unit in
the heart of Bollington. However, David Hughes has 20 years
experience creating the golden nectar so this was a good
product from day one. The brews are on the bar at the Poachers
1 Paul Wreglesworth
of the information on this page comes from Looking Back
at Bollington, Longden & Spink, 1986 (Books)
3 Paul Wreglesworth
I am most grateful to those who have provided additional information on the old pubs and breweries of Bollington, and particularly to Paul Wreglesworth the noted local expert. These pages have become a very interesting collection of pub and brewery heritage as a result.
I am very much indebted
to Paul Wreglesworth, noted for his research and books
on the Pubs & Breweries of Macclesfield,
for providing corrections and further information about
the brewery at Higher Mills, the Heaver family and on
Parrott & Horsfield.
Please let me know of any other old pubs of Bollington or anything else you know about those already listed - please send me a message!