In the Brewery Malt store there is a key board hanging up and people on a Tour will often ask, what are the keys for? Well, the answer is they are part of the Inland Revenue act of 1880. Although this Act came in 137 years ago, and has been superseded by later Acts, there is still some evidence of its application still on view in the Brewery today.
Included in the Act were three provisions that the Brewer must comply with, namely;
1) Provide access to the local Excise Officer at any time day or night. To provide the required access to our local officer, Frederick Lightfoot, the set of keys on the board in the Malt Store were made available to him so he could carry out the required monitoring of our brewing and apply the relevant duty rates.
2) Identification of every vessel used in the Brewing process and each room and entry door.As we go around the Brewery today we can see many examples of this still being applied. Some examples are shown above, including; ‘Sugar Store 3′, ‘Store Room 8′ and ‘Malt Store Room 7′. The ‘Mill Room’ is still applicable, but the other rooms are of course used for different purposes today.
3) Maintenance of a Brew Book recording all the required details of each brew. The Brewery still holds most Brew records going back to 1856; some of these are held in the Brewers office as shown above.
So there we are, another fine example of the fascinating history we have seemingly lurking in every corner of our wonderful old Brewery.