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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."





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The Company File Contents


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