One Man Museum of Beer

Tisbury Brewery share certificate, 1982.

This weekend, we met a friend’s father for the first time, and he said: ‘You’re writing a book about beer, aren’t you? Have you ever heard of Becky’s Dive Bar?’

He told us about drinking at Becky’s, where he was dragged by a colleague who was a member of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood to drink Ruddle’s from a barrel on the counter-top.

When we mentioned Starkey, Knight & Ford, he disappeared into a store room and returned with a green bottle bearing the brewery’s name, an early version of their prancing horse trademark, the intertwined SK&F logo, and the name of a nearby town, Paignton. ‘I found it in a hedgerow,’ he said.

He served us beer in Young & Co. half pint glasses with the slogan ‘Real Draught Beer‘, picked up at Young’s shareholder meetings. ‘The AGM was the biggest piss-up in town for the price of a single share,’ he told us. ‘John Young would ask who wanted to hear a long speech and we’d all shout NO! Then he’d ask who wanted some beer and we’d shout YES! You had to take the afternoon and the next day off work.’

The he wondered whether we might be interested in seeing his share certificate from the Tisbury Brewery? Readers, we were interested. It took him a while to find: ‘I keep it hidden away. I can’t stand to look at it because I lost a lot of money. I keep it as a reminder not to make stupid investments.’

It’s good to meet someone who has lived what we’ve only read about.

5 thoughts on “One Man Museum of Beer”

  1. how much is that pound in today’s terms? I always love meeting people who lived through diufferent beer eras (beeras?) to myself

    1. Quick check of an online calculator suggests about three quid, so his £750 investment is equivalent to around £2250 in today’s money.

      1. I keep my loan certificate to Manchester’s radical bookshop around for similar reasons.

        According to this article, a pint of beer cost 35p in 1980 – so if that was £750 worth of beer money it’d be worth getting on for £7500 today! Rather confusingly, the article glosses 35p as £1.10 in today’s money, suggesting that there’s a “real” underlying rate of inflation which individual costs deviate from. Presumably it’s really the other way round, with the overall 300% change being aggregated from prices which are a lot higher (beer, houses) and others which have stayed the same or gone down (?).

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