Monkey See , Monkey Brew

Thursday, 21 March 2019



                                                     Timothy Taylor & Co Ltd 
                                                      Knowle Spring Brewery
                                                             West Yorkshire
The founder of the firm , Timothy was born in Bingley in the West Riding of Yorkshire ,
on the 6 Th of August 1826 to Richard  and his wife Elizabeth .

Timothy Taylor
06/08/1826 -  09/01/1898
Picture Ca 1870

Richard Taylor was , appropriately enough  a Tailor, who at the time of Timothy`s birth was living on Myrtle Place in Bingley ; and his eldest son joined him in his business .
Soon after leaving shool in 1841, where he quickly learnt his father`s trade and went on to become the company`s salesman in the local towns, and by 1853 the concern was known as Richard Taylor & Sons with premises on Main Street in Bingley and a second branch opening in Keighley in 1854 ; where Timothy was joined by his younger brother , Henry.
However after two years the business partnership was disolved ; with Henry Taylor moving back to help run his father`s business in Bingley as a seperate concern .
 The neighbours of Timothy at his premises on Low St in Keighley included another local businessman , Robert Aked  whose daughter Charlotte was to marry Timothy Taylor,
 in the parish church of Keighley on September 17 Th 1857 . 
In 1858 , a family tragedy ( the death of Timothy`s brother in law , Charles ) quite probably gave him the inspiration to enter the brewing trade ; as later in 1858 , he entered into a partnership with local businessmen James Shackleton and John Naylor

                                        The Old Brewery , Cook Lane , Keighley
An old barn and stables on Cook Lane in Keighley were chosen as suitable for conversion to a brewery and Timothy commenced producing his ales later that year .
The business began to prosper and by 1861 , the census returns show that Timothy Taylor was listed as a Brewer , employing 8 men and 1 boy ; however in 1863 , the partnership between Timothy and the other gentlemen was disolved on the 22 Nd April .
An Early local newspaper advert for Taylor`s Ales
Later in 1863 , the estate of the Greenwood family in Keighley ; Knowle Park was offered for sale by their agent , and Timothy was possessed of sufficient accumen to aquire a substantial portion of it ; and in June of that year , an application was duly presented to the Keighley Board Of Health to erect a new brewery and other structures ; amongst which was Knowle Spring House ,( The family home for many years)
Knowle Spring House Ca 1865
Knowle Spring House Ca 1923

By 1867 , Timothy had severed most of his close ties with the clothing trade and was a founder member of the first committee of The Bradford & District Brewer`s Association  whose first meetings were held in that year . sadly Timothy Taylor passed away in January 1898 ; with the business carried on by his sons Robert H Taylor and Percy Taylor , and by  1911 , rising demand for the brewery`s products saw an expansion of the brewery , with new buildings being erected to house a Mill , Mash Tun ( Which was in use until 2000 ) , Copper and Hop Back ( Replaced in 1976 ) .
The 1911 Mash Tun in Operation Ca 1960

 Percy Taylor
1871 - 1953
The years of the Great War , in common with most other breweries in the UK , were difficult ; with iniquitous restrictions on opening hours ( Defence of the Realm Act 1917) and the materials available to brewers , not forgetting the Gravity restrictions imposed by the government .
However , one employee of the company , Arthur Poulter ( Leeds Maltings ) was to win a well earned Victoria Cross on the 19 Th April 1918 after rescuing 10 men under heavy fire ; in the action at Erquinghem - Lys  .
Pte Arthur Poulter V . C

After the advent of peace in 1918 , the company was to suffer a few lean years and in 1922 , the decision was taken by Robert & Percy to sell the company to Samuel Allsopp & Sons ,
of  Burton on Trent , who had tabled an offer of £ 112 , 000  for the firm ; happily for beer fans the world over , Alsopp`s changed their mind and bought the Alloa Brewery of Archibald Arroll & Sons instead (The incident with Allsopp`s  may well have caused the decision to register the company , and in November 1929 , this was done) .

In Later Life
In Duke Of Wellington`s Regiment WW1
 Sydney Taylor
      1892  - 1987
 The next member of the family to join the company was Phillip Taylor , who after serving his pupilage at Ilkley Brewery joined the company in 1923 ; where he  won the company`s first industry award in 1928 , he was also instrumental in establishing the Taylor`s maxim of "Quality First " , one that still holds good today , nearly a hundred years on !!.
Philip Taylor 1894  - 1954
 The Malting operations came to an end in 1928 after a number of batches of malt were found to be `Slack` , and the Maltings in Leeds ceased to be operated by Taylor`s .      In 1935 ,  Percy`s son , John Aked Taylor ( Later to become Lord Ingrow ) joined the company after being trained as a brewer at Bentley`s Old Brewery in Rotherham .
The Second World War ,as with the Great war presented difficulties for the UK Brewing industry , though thankfully the iniquities heaped on the trade and public weren`t as restrictive as those of the earlier conflict , by the blessed arrival of peace in 1945 , the nation was ready for a return to freely available beer and with the advent of restrictions on materials decreasing ; the beginnings of a new fashion in beers were beginning to be felt ,
Taylor`s Brewing Staff Ca 1952
 and in 1952 the brewery had developed the mighty drop of cerevesian exellence that is known to beer connoisseurs the globe round as Landlord ; a bright and well carbonated brewery conditioned Pale Ale in bottled form .
The First newspaper Advert for Landlord
  In 1958 , the company celebrated 100 years of trading with a commemorative dinner and a specially brewed Centenary Ale .
Centenary Ale Label 1958
Centenary Dinner Menu 1958

 The brewery continues to prosper ; with expansions of the brewery taking place in 1991 , 2000 and 2003 , paving the way for continuance of production of Timothy Taylor`s Championship Beers for some time to come ; not a bad record after 161 years of brewing .
Billy Pye in the Cooper`s Shop Ca 1950

Racking Beer at Knowle Spring 1950

Racking Department Ca 1960
Eric Parker on the Bottling Line Ca 1960

Bottling Department Ca 1960

Alan Hey (Head Brewer) & John Taylor in the Sample Room 1976 

                                                             Taylor`s Showcards 1950`s
The New Brewhouse 1991

The Brewery from the car park 2008

With full thanks to the helpfull chaps up at the brewery ; who kindly sent me some illustrations and photographs ,also the Labologist  Keith Osborne for the Centenary Ale Label photo ..                                                    

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