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.




More after the, er, “more” link…







Click the pho­to above for a big­ger ver­sion.



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 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?


  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?


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