Saturday, 25 July 2015

Brighton Pubs Book - Can You Help?

I have a contract with Amberley Publishing of Stroud, Gloucestershire, to publish a historical book, Brighton Pubs, with a chronology covering the two centuries from the 1800s to the 1990s. It will tell a tale of mystery, murder, intrigue, tragedy, conviviality, disrepute and respectability and will bring to life some of Brighton’s famous licensee families, such as the Edlins, the Pitts and the Boveys.

I will be writing most of the book in August and September with a view to delivering the manuscript in November and that is where you come in. If you have any old photographs of Brighton pubs or know of ancestors that worked in or ran pubs in the city, or have interesting tales to relate about past events in Brighton pub history, then I would love to very soon hear from you. Any material that cannot be sent by email will be personally collected and returned; great care will be taken of it and credit given for its use. I will be covering about fifty-five pubs, probably to include the following, although the list is neither complete nor exclusive and I am still very interested in pubs not mentioned below, and even those that have been long closed or demolished:

Admiral Napier (subsequently Cornerstone, now the Admiral), Aquarium (now the Plotting Parlour), Bevendean Hotel (now the Bevy), Basketmakers Arms, Brighton Tavern, Bristol, Colonnade Bar, Cricketers, Crown, Crown & Anchor, Dorset, Druids Head, Dyke Road Hotel, Evening Star, Franklin Tavern, Good Companions, Green Dragon (now the Office), Greyhound (now the Fishbowl), Hand in Hand, Hare & Hounds, Heart & Hand, King & Queen, Ladies Mile, Marlborough Hotel, Marquess of Exeter (now the Chimney House), Norfolk Arms (subsequently Blind Tiger Club), Northern Hotel (now the Hobgoblin), Prestonville Arms, Prince Albert, Prince Arthur (now Brighton Beer Dispensary), Pump House, Quadrant, Queens Arms, Queens Head (now Broadway Bar), Queens Park Tavern (now the Hanover), Regency Tavern, Rose Hill Tavern, Seven Stars, Victory.

The initial print run will be restricted to 750 copies. Anyone who would like to be informed when the book is published is welcome to provide me with his or her email address. For all enquires and offers of assistance with material, you can contact me, David Muggleton, at, or, or phone me on 01243 863694. Thank you very much for your time.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Miles Jenner, Master of the Brewers’ Company 2015/16

Miles Jenner, Head Brewer and Joint Managing Director of Harveys, Lewes, has been installed as Master of the Brewers’ Company in London. The London company received its first Royal Charter in 1438: it is now fourteenth in order of precedence among the City’s one hundred and ten Livery Companies. Miles Jenner said, “It is a tremendous honour to have been elected Master. I am immensely proud of the brewing industry and will represent it to the best of my ability in the year ahead.” He succeeds James Arkell, Chairman of Arkell’s Brewery in Wiltshire.

Livery companies, or Guilds as they are often known, have been part of the social and commercial fabric of Europe since medieval times. Originally founded to protect the interests of various trades, they now flourish as charitable patrons, promoters of industry and guardians of heritage and tradition. The Brewers’ Company remains close to its trade, actively supporting the brewing industry and education in brewing. It has a major philanthropic role as trustee to substantial charitable trust funds supporting two schools, multiple other educational initiatives and a number of almshouses.

In a tradition dating back many years, it is customary for the Master to supply beer to Brewers’ Hall during his year of office. It was Harvey’s 1957 Ford Thames delivery truck - painstakingly restored in Harveys’ colours of the time - that duly travelled through the City and delivered the first casks.

Thank you to Miles Jenner for the photographs.

Below is the Incoming Master and Mistress of the Brewers’ Company (Miles and Sally Jenner) with outgoing Master and Mistress (James and Cally Arkell).

Harveys beer is delivered to Brewers' Hall (Miles Jenner and Les Wooton).

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Woking Beer Festival, 6th-7th September 2015

I’ve been asked by friends from the Surrey/Hants Borders Branch of CAMRA to promote their 22nd Woking Beer Festival, to be held in Woking Leisure Centre on 6th-7th November 2015. Tickets priced at £10 (includes programme and festival glass) go on sale on Monday 24th August from the Leisure Centre, tel 01483 771122. CAMRA members get a free pint (up to 5.0% ABV) on presenting their current membership card at the membership stand. Over three sessions, Friday evening, Saturday Lunchtime and Saturday evening, the festival will feature over 70 beers with all being available at all sessions (quality permitting).

A wide range of ciders and perries will be available along with our Foreign Beer Bar. There is also the opportunity to see Len Rawle at the Wurlitzer organ - you can even sing along to favourites such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, etc! Further details and staffing forms on website

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Portsmouth CAMRA Beerex, 4th-5th September 2015

For the second year in a row the Portsmouth and South East Hants branch of CAMRA will be holding their Portsmouth Beerex at the University of Portsmouth Student Union building, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2EF. There will be an extensive drinks list including over 100 different drinks available; LocAle, ale from small UK breweries, traditional cider and perry, international bottled beers and perhaps a few surprises or two.

The event is being held on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September 2015.

Session times are:

Friday 4th September
Midday to 4.30pm £5, this is a quiet session with no live music
6.30pm to 11pm £8

Saturday 5th September
11.30am to 4.30pm £8
6.30pm to 11pm £6

The ticket price includes entry, festival guide and commemorative glass.
CAMRA members can claim free drinks tokens from the CAMRA membership stand at the festival.

For more information including tickets purchase please visit the festival website:

Friday, 19 June 2015

Friends of the Froth Blowers at the Watermill Vat

In my role as a professional lecturer I speak most of the time to a captive rather than captivated audience. When I address a freely-invited group who, afterwards, in some small way, show their appreciation, it is most flattering. But in my view the best accolade that any speaker can receive is when someone is stimulated enough by the material to do something constructive in consequence. In October 2013, as part of the Lewes October Feast, I gave a talk at the John Harvey Tavern about Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers (AOFB), a beer-drinking, charitable, voluntary organisation of the interwar period. A couple of people did confess to me afterwards that, for at least the first ten minutes, they had thought the subject-matter to have been a spoof; but the story of the AOFB did entertain a certain Mr. Bob Oliver (pictured standing in the final photograph of this post) enough for him to go out and form his own Friends of the Froth Blowers branch on the basis of it.

The Friends of the Froth Blowers at the Watermill Vat held their inaugural meeting in November 2013 at the Watermill, Leylands Road, Worlds End, Burgess Hill (pictured below). They now have full and associate members who are keen to keep alive the memory of the AOFB, founded in 1924 by ex-serviceman Mr Bert Temple, in conjunction with eminent surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp as a way of raising funds for the latter’s “Wee Waifs” charities for deprived and invalid children. Branch meetings took place in pubs, clubs and hotels, humorously referred to as “Vats”, where beer was drunk in jovial accordance with rites, rituals and regalia of a spoof Fraternity Organisation or Masonic Lodge. By the time of the AOFB’s demise, in 1931, an astounding £100,000 had been secured for charity. 

The Watermill Vat were pleased to attend the annual plaque wetting of the AOFB on 10th May 2014 at what was the premier Vat No. 0, Swan Inn, Fittleworth, West Sussex. The £60 raised was donated to their locally supported charity, The St Peter & St James Hospice. Since forming they have been able to obtain the following original AOFB artifacts and merchandise: Member’s Booklet No. 345957, with an address in Hampstead; Blaster and Tornado badges plus a couple of branded playing cards; all full members have AOFB cuff links, while a female associate member is the proud owner of a Fairy Belle wristlet. They all have a copy of David Woodhead and Ian Brown’s (2012) The Zestful Gallopers, a full history of the AOFB.

For detail of their future meetings, both in and out of the Watermill, check the following Facebook pages:

Froth Blowers at the Watermill Vat Burgess Hill.!/frothblowerswatermillvat?fref=ts.

Froth Blowers at Sussex Vats

Information on the history of the AOFB is available at


Thursday, 28 May 2015

19th South Downs Real Ale & Cider Festival, 19th-20th June

Organised and run by the Brighton & South Downs Branch of CAMRA, the 19th South Downs Real Ale & Cider Festival will take place at the usual venue, Lewes Town Hall, on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June 2015. There will be around 90 cask beers for you to sample, along with a range of bottled beers, ciders and perry. Non alcoholic drinks will also be available, along with a range of hot food and snacks, including vegetarian options supplied by local firm Circa Events. The festival will as usual be music free.

All sessions will be admission by ticket only. Tickets will be on sale from 1 May at the Gardener’s Arms, Harveys Brewery Shop and the Brewers Arms, Lewes, and the Evening Star, Brighton. 

Alternatively, please apply by post to: South Downs Beer Festival Tickets, 139 Elm Grove, Brighton, BN2 3ES, stating session required and enclosing a SAE and cheque, payable to “South Downs Beer & Cider Festival”.

The ticket prices are:

Friday 19th June 11.00 - 15.00 £4.00

Friday 19th June 17.00 - 22.30 £6.50

Saturday 20th June 11.00 - 18.00* £5.00

*or until the beer runs out.

Customers will receive a free festival glass very kindly sponsored by Harveys Brewery, and a programme with tasting notes. The festival always receives a great deal of support from Harveys Brewery. This year they are celebrating their 225th anniversary and this will be reflected on the glass and by a special brew! In addition, CAMRA members will receive £2.00 in beer tokens per session on production of their membership card. We have plans for one-off brews and ‘first available’ beers at this event.

This year’s charity is SERV Sussex (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers), who provide nighttime transportation of blood, blood products and other urgent medical items for NHS hospitals across Sussex. Please give generously.

The venue - Lewes Town Hall, Fisher Street entrance, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2Q5 - is easy to find. From the railway station turn right, climb the hill to the traffic lights, cross over and it is on the right. The town boasts a number of excellent pubs that are well worth seeking out if you have the time, or indeed the capacity.

The local CAMRA branch website is

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Science of Beer, The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, 20th June

This Blog would like to draw your attention to a unique place in Sussex to enjoy some real ale and a homemade curry on a lovely summer’s evening - The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, Saturday 20th June from 7.30pm-midnight.

In 1990 The Royal Greenwich Observatory closed its doors at Herstmonceux and moved to Cambridge, leaving the historic telescopes behind. Five years later the Equatorial Group came back to life as The Observatory Science Centre, under the aegis of Science Projects. An extensive programme of repair and upgrading of the buildings and telescopes was completed in 2004 with the aid of a substantial grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. It is now a Grade II* listed monument. Along side the historic telescopes there are over 100 interactive hands-on exhibits and exhibitions all available on our Science of Beer evening.

This Science of Beer evening is for adults only and will combine a fascinating talk with some fabulous fun demonstrations all about the process of brewing beer with the chance to sample some local brew! All this plus a curry AND a voucher to sample a free beer of your choice (soft drinks and wine are also available). Vegetarian options are available but we are unable to offer alternatives to the curry.

If the weather is good then there will also be an opportunity to look through the Centre's fantastic historic telescopes at some fascinating night sky objects including VENUS, JUPITER and even SATURN! There will be an opportunity to buy other beers from the brewers but please bring cash with you as credit card transactions will not be available.

Numbers are limited to 80, so book early to secure your place. NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN

The Observatory Science Centre
Wartling Road
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Location Co-ordinates: 50.868585, 0.348961
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741