In the Summer 2011 issue, Bill George listed Barking pubs which have recently closed. This was a very welcome update to my Barking pubs past and present, published in 1995. No longer resident in the area, I was particularly interested to see that the Brewery Tap was not in the list. Known for a while as the James Figg, and currently as the @Barking, this pub is all that remains of Barking Brewery. Thanks to a personal communication from an Australian Glenny, I am able to share the following information about the Brewery.
Alex Glenny was the last of four Glennys to work at the Barking Brewery. On the sale of the Brewery to Messrs Taylor Walker & Co. Ltd., in 1929, he wrote the following vignette on sixty-
In the days of our grandfathers it was customary for farmers to brew their own beer to supply the workers with refreshments in the fields at harvesting time and on other special occasions. The Barking Brewery had such a beginning. Dr George Glenny started the Brewery in 1864 to meet the demands of a few farmers who had not the plant 0r the necessary skill to produce satisfactory beer themselves.
The first brew was made in the potato shed of the late Mr. W. W. Glenny and, apart from farm consumption, the first cask of beer was purchased by Dr Galloway, of Cambridge Road, Barking. In those days Dr Glenny had only one assistant, the late Mr H. Prior.
Many yarns are told of the early days of the Brewery. Mr H. Prior, the son of Dr Glenny's first assistant, tells of the following amusing incident. An employee going home to his dinner, neglected to close the brew-
The excellency of the brews soon became known and sales grew apace, but Dr George was satisfied with setting the ball rolling, and sold the business to his brother, Mr Thomas W. Glenny, who acquired a site on the east side of Linton Road, and built the Brewery.
Trade increased from month to month, licensed houses were acquired, and the business grew to one of considerable importance. In those days the Brewery was run on empirical lines. Mr Thomas W. Glenny saw grounds for improvement and in 1890 introduced his nephew, Mr George W. Glenny, to the Brewery; when he had grasped the elements of brewing, he served his pupilage under Mr G. D. Atkinson at Messrs Fenwick's Brewery, Sunderland. Later, Mr G. W. Glenny studied under Mr Chaston Chapman, FRS FIC, an illustrious chemist and scientist. On his return to the Barking Brewery, Mr G. W. Glenny introduced many new methods, and the Brewery was not only run on more scientific lines, but produced an infinitely better beer.
Mr T. W. Glenny died in 1914, six months before war broke out, a most unfortunate time. In his will, he proved as just and generous as in life. Every old servant of the firm was left a legacy with the opportunity of taking up shares in the Brewery in the event of a Company being formed.
Apart from those who joined the army, the men proved faithful throughout the war and stuck to their work when higher wages were being offered elsewhere. They were hard times. As the Chairman remarked in later years: " There was a time when I thought the shutters would have to go up". Towards the end of 1917, the Brewery was formed into a private Company, with Mr G. W. Glenny as Managing Director and Mr J. V. Glenny, Mr E. Raven, and Major C. H. Seabrooke as co-
In 1926, Mr A. H. Glenny entered the Brewery, after training somewhat similar to that of his uncle, Mr G. W. Glenny. He took charge of the brewing process. The licensed houses, under the supervision of Mr G. S. Stapley, FSA, have been brought up to modern requirements. During the last ten years, a sum approaching £70,000 has been spent on rebuilding and alterations.
Until its purchase by Messrs Taylor Walker & Co. Ltd., at the end of 1929, the Brewery stood one of the most prosperous industries in town; employing about 30 hands, possessing 15 licensed houses, and doing a trade of no less than 16,000 barrels a year. A worthy achievement in so short a time! Despite its growth, the firm maintained its original spirit of co-
Much could be written on the business sagacity, justice and humanity of the Chairman, Mr G. W. Glenny, JP. Long life and happiness to him in his retirement!
To dilate on the many excellencies of the staff would require a volume of considerable size, but mention must be made of the late Messrs Prior, Senr., Shelitoe and Ward; also, Davis, Pickrell, Prior, Jnr., Bearman, Heading, Russell and Copp, all of whom have spent almost a lifetime in furthering the interests of the firm.
As an individual firm, GLENNY'S BREWERY LTD. Is no more; its shutters have gone up – not to failure, but to success
Transport at Barking Brewery (author's collection)
The first record of the Glenny family in Barking is an entry in the Rate Book for September-
Readers are also referred to the 3 volumes of the Mr Frogley's Barking series for references to the Glenny family and a portrait of Thomas Wallis Glenny, who built the Brewery.
Barking Brewery, The Brewery Tap
Barking Tap, 29th June 2011
Barking Tap, 29th June 2011