Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, July 2, 1999 Published at 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK

Business: The Company File

Vaux breweries close

Vaux's drays are being found homes around the country

More than a century and a half of brewing history in the north-east of England has come to an end with the closure of the Vaux brewery in Sunderland. Its sister plant, Ward's of Sheffield, has also closed. In total, more than 700 jobs have been lost.

Richard Wells reports on the end of an era in the brewing industry
Their parent company, the Swallow Group (formerly the Vaux Group), has decided to axe the breweries to concentrate on its hotel and restaurant chains.

The Vaux brewery was founded in 1837 and became famous for such tipples as its Highly Nourishing Stout and Indian Pale Ale.

[ image: Vaux:
Vaux: "Beloved brewery"
The managing director, Frank Nicholson, fought to save his "beloved brewery" and launched what turned out to be an unsuccessful management buy-out.

In Sheffield, Ward's is the last of the four major breweries to have closed in the past 10 years. It was established in 1840 and remained independent until bought by Vaux in 1972.

Members of the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale held a "funeral march" through the city to mark the brewery's demise.

Their spokesman, Alan Gibbons, said: "This is a very bleak day for the city of Sheffield. We used to have two Bass breweries, a Whitbread plant and the Ward's brewery, and drinkers had a real choice. Now they will have to make do with the bland products brought in from elsewhere."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Company File Contents

Relevant Stories

01 Jul 99 | The Company File
Big is beautiful for brewers

01 Jul 99 | The Company File
Whitbread counters weighty Punch

28 Jun 99 | The Company File
Morland battle brewing

22 Jun 99 | The Economy
Real ale loses its froth

Internet Links

Vaux Breweries

Swallow Hotels

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles