Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton

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September 1951.

1827 Michael Thomas Bass succeeded to the leadership of Bass and Co.

He renewed the partnership with Samuel Ratcliff

Brought in John Gretton, creating the company of Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton as it traded in the 19th century.

1837 Advertisement shows Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton, Brewers and Bass and Ratcliff, Wine and Spirit Merchants.[1]

1839 The opening of the railway through Burton led to Burton becoming pre-eminent as a brewing town.

1861 Employing 1,084 men and 83 boys[2]

1866 Details of a boiler explosion that killed two persons. [3]

1870s Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton accounted for one third of Burton's output.

1888 The company became a public limited company.

Early in the 20th century, in a declining market, many Burton breweries closed down. The numbers fell from twenty in 1900 to eight in 1928.

1923 Bass took over the brewery of Peter Walker and Son.

1927 Worthingtons merged with Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton, ending a long standing rivalry between two of the town's major brewers, forming Bass and Worthington. Worthington continued to brew their own beer.

1927 Acquired Thomas Salt and Co.

1935 Bass was one of the original FT 30 companies on the London Stock Exchange when the listing was established.

1961 Bass acquired the Wenlock Brewery Co Ltd, Wenlock Road, Shoreditch (which had been registered in 1893 to acquire Glover, Bell and Co)[4]

1961 Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton merged with Mitchells and Butlers to form Bass, Mitchells and Butlers

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 16 September 1837
  2. 1861 Census of John Gretton
  3. The Engineer 1866/04/06 p264
  4. East London Breweries [1]