Truman, Hanbury and Buxton in the East End

Truman, Hanbury and Buxton were one of the biggest breweries in London in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They moved to Burton in the 1970s, merged with Watney Mann not long after, and then closed altogether. East London — the area immediately around the old Black Eagle Brewery — is particularly rife with small reminders.

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More after the, er, “more” link…

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Click the photo above for a bigger version.

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28 thoughts on “Truman, Hanbury and Buxton in the East End”

  1. Nice photos of the Trumans signs. There’s one I see on the way into Liverpool Street from Stansted I would love to photograph that says “Truman, Hanbury and Buxton Entire”.

    On an historical note, the Truman’s brewery in Brick Lane didn’t close until 1989. Their Burton brewery was purchased in 1873 to brew Pale Ale and only closed in 1971. At the time London brewers only brewed Porter, Stout, Mild and Strong Ales, usually buying in their Pale Ale from Burton or Kent. As the science of water treatment developed, it was possible to recreate Burton water and Pale Ale was brewed in the capital. For some reason maintained a separate Burton brewery long after it was really necessary.

    If you’re interested in Truman, there’s a pretty complete set of their brewing records from around 1815 onwards in the London Metroplitan Archive.

  2. Thanks, Ron. Interesting stuff. One thing I would love to know about Truman — were their beers any good?

  3. For many years Truman were all keg, before half-heartedly launching a cask bitter in the late 1970s that wasn’t much good. I used to mix it with bottled Guinness to make something palatable.

    In the early 1980s they suddenly got really keen on cask and released a whole range: Mild, Bitter and strong Bitter. These beers were actually pretty good. Initially, the Mild was pretty widely available, which was nice as by then it had all but disappeared from London. I can remeber that the Wig and Pen on Fleet Street sold all three.

  4. I am a model make currently building a model set in East London in the 1950s. I am keen to get the colours right – what I’d like to know is which, if any of the signs shown is nearest to the correct colour. It looks like purple was the house colour but I know time can do funny things to pigments.

    Also does anyone know about the types of brewery lorries & liveries used at that time?

  5. During the war my Gran had a Trumans pub called ‘the Victory’ in Queensbridge Road, Hackney. The Pubs been demolished a long time ago. Id like to get a ‘photo of it any I deas how I might best achieve this?

  6. John — the central library in Hackney is probably your best bet. If you get the chance to visit, check out their selection of local history books. Failing that, you could try giving them a call and asking them to dig out a picture and scan it for you.

    Just a thought — I can’t find any reference to a pub called the Victory on Queensbridge Road, but there are a few references to a Victoria, which is still standing. Any chance you’ve got the wrong name for the pub?

  7. Hello,

    I’m trying to find out some information about the brewery’s acquisition of 29 Pickford Lane, Bexleyheath and the adjoining land that occurred in 1933. I know the plot was purchased for £1800 from Alabaster Builders and some houses were then built in 1934. It’s most curious as the remaining land stayed vacant until the 1950s. In addition, the covenant denied the sale of alcohol in any form from the premises…which has since been an off-licence.

    Any ideas or information would be much appreciated.

  8. I am trying to find out if a relative of mine woked at Trumans in the mid to late 1800’s. Do you know if old employee records still exist somewhere?

  9. David — Ron Pattinson might know (he writes the Shut Up About Barclay Perkins blog linked to in our blog roll, and spends a lot of time in the old brewery archives).

  10. I recently received a Mirror advertising Trumans. Sadly; It has a bad crack in it. Does anyone know where a replacement (possibly reproduction) could be found?.

  11. edscout — we did spot an interior decoration salvage type place near Burgess Park in South London which was selling lots of old pub fixtures and fittings — don’t know the exact name or address, I’m afraid.

  12. bailey you seem very helpful, i am looking for pictures and information on the weavers arms which was at 17 hanbury street, i belive in 1881 one of my ancestors ran the pub Mr edward howard with mrs emily howard, have you or anyone else have come accross this information cheers

  13. Thanks bailey, i have been on there, i shall have to get all the information together and pop up to the westminster archives, but if your experience allows you to find any other information it would be grateful as you can see from that link you sent me i am interested in 1881 and the Howards, cheers gary

  14. I remember the days of ”more hops in ben truman ” with the ben truman figure on his crutch is there any photos about of this ? also is there any records of employees of later years ?

  15. Frank — I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ben Truman, but you could trawl through Ron Pattinson’s blog (“Shut Up About Barclay Perkins”). He often illustrates his posts with old labels, posters, coasters, etc., including those from Truman.

  16. For Gary Howard – the only photo I have ever seen of the Weavers Arms at 17 Hanbury Street is reproduced in the book “Jewish East London”, published just two or three years ago. It is a 1920s photo and only part of the pub is visible; quite a substantial four-storey pub in Truman’s livery. The pub was present by 1793 when it belonged to Thomas Newnham’s Brewery of Goodman’s Fields. It was demolished to accommodate an expansion of the Truman’s Brewery, but I’m not sure when.

  17. Hi

    I have an old photo, showing my family’s shop opposite truman hanbury and buxton, did they have more than one brewery or did they run pubs/guest houses? this may go back 125 + years. I am trying to trace my familys working history, and any help is much appreciated. please go to my website http://www.dipples.com and leave me a message. btw, my grandmother was the last Dipple.

    many thanks in advance
    Chris Ellis.

  18. I have found a metal:

    Truman Beers and Ale sign
    London Brewer Since 1966
    Truman Hanbury & Buxton

    Just like one shown in photos with curved top in the original Frame
    in excellent condition – 2 sided metal

    Looking for a age/date of sign and value?

    Thanks

  19. Someone once told me that Mr Guinness came to vist the Truman brewery back in the day as he was thinking about setting up his own brewery – Truman had a dark stout that was brewed for his workforce & MR Guinness asked if he could take the recipe… the rest as they say is history. Anyone know if this is a load of bull or if there is an element of truth to it?

    Thanks

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