Golden era of the Cumbrian brewery dray horse

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9 June 2017 2:32PM

THE visit of a horse-drawn brewery dray to a Furness or Lakeland pub was once such a common sight that it would draw little attention.

Today they draw crowds and feature on photographs and mobile phone “selfies” as a rare reminder of a vanishing tradition.

A recent sighting of a Daniel Thwaites dray outside the renovated The Royal at Heysham has prompted a Memories Page look at how our beer used to be delivered.

A horse-drawn dray in the livery of Ulverston brewers Hartleys, which was retained for ceremonial use, features in two of the pictures – one at Whitehaven in the 1980s and at Ulverston in 2001.

Hartleys finished brewing beers at Ulverston in November 1991 but the beers continued to be produced by owners, Robinsons of Stockport.

After brewing finished in Ulverston, the Hartleys beers would arrive from Stockport by articulated lorry to the town’s old brewery.

Deliveries would then be made to pubs with a Bedford 12-ton dray wagon.

A typical load would be 90 metal casks.

The last of the traditional Barrow brewers to end production was Cases in February 1972.

It had been started by Robert Fell Case and was based in Cavendish Street.

Other Barrow brewers who would have delievered to pubs and hotels by dray included James Thompsons, founded in 1872 and George Heaths, founded in 1868.

Daniel Thwaites was born in Cumberland in 1777 and trained as an excise man but by 1807 was a partner in the Eanam Brewery in Blackburn – and owned it by 1824.

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