This collection consists of minutes, agendas, photographs and press cuttings
1870 - 1983
Some records concerning the early history of Watney and Co. Ltd (prior to 1898) are held at Westminster City Archives, Victoria Library, 160 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9UD.
Related GLRO Collections
This collection (ACC/2979) was deposited in 1991 by the Company Secretary of Watney Mann and Truman (Holdings) Ltd.
Other related collections include the records of Truman Hanbury Buxton and Co. Ltd (B/THB); records of Jimmy Barr, former Truman employee (ACC/3025).
Other Watney collections include deeds and related papers concerning Isleworth Brewery 1706-1962 and deeds of public houses taken over by Watney Combe Reid and Co. 1861-1905 (ACC/1399). A number of other collections are uncatalogued (interim reference AC/76.39, AC/75.108, AC/76.11, AC/77.93).
(For a detailed account of the history of Watney companies and their predecessors see "The Brewing Industry, A Guide to Historical Records" ed. L. Richmond, A. Turton).
The brewing company Watney Combe Reid and Co. was established in 1898 as an amalgamation of Watney and Co. Ltd and Combe and Co. Ltd (Wood Yard Brewery, Castle Street, Long Acre, London) and Reid's Brewery Co. Ltd. (Griffin Brewery, Liquorpond Street, Clerkenwell, London). Brewing of the merged company was concentrated at the Stag Brewery until its closure in 1959.
The original Stag Brewery in Castle Street, Pimlico had started in the 1630's under the ownership of John Greene. The Watney family became involved in brewing in 1837 when James and Daniel Watney, millers of Wandsworth, took a quarter share in the Stag Brewery. From about 1849 the brewing firm was known as Elliot, Watney and Co. becoming James Watney and Co. in 1858.
Watney Mann Ltd
When the Stag Brewery was due for closure in the late 1950s because of lack of space and a planned major road on the site, Watney Combe Reid and Co. Ltd bought Mann, Crossman and Paulin Ltd (Albion Brewery, Whitechapel Road, Whitechapel, London) in 1958 and changed its name to Watney Mann Ltd.
Brewing ceased at the Stag Brewery in April 1959. In 1962 the trading assets of Watney Mann Ltd were transferred to Watney Combe Reid and Co. Ltd.
Amongst others the company acquired Phipps Northampton Brewery Co. Ltd (1960), Usher's Wiltshire Brewery Ltd (1960), Samuel Webster and Sons Ltd (1972). Watney Mann Ltd was acquired by Grand Metropolitan Hotels Ltd in 1972 and merged with Truman Hanbury Buxton and Co. Ltd in 1974. Grand Metropolitan Brewing Ltd controlled the brewery interest until Courage and Co. Ltd bought Watney Mann and Truman Brewers Ltd in 1991. Watney Combe Reid and Co. Ltd was also acquired by Grand Metropolitan Brewing Ltd, but is not owned by Courage and Co. Ltd.