EPW035168 ENGLAND (1931). Benskins Brewery and the town, Watford, 1931

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Nearby Images (23)

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Title [EPW035168] Benskins Brewery and the town, Watford, 1931
Reference EPW035168
Date May-1931
Place name WATFORD
Easting / Northing 511345, 196007
Longitude / Latitude -0.39036011940847, 51.651348671367
National Grid Reference TQ113960


Here is the Cricketers. Best cheese and onion rolls, with a pint of Benskins I've ever tasted! Circa 1964

Thursday 23rd of March 2017 09:25:13 PM
This was and old stables and buildings that had been previously used as a thermometer manufacturing works. I and some workmates recovered a huge amount of spilt mercury from between floorboards and the ceilings below which we sold to George Ausdens scrap metals further down the High St. The company occupying the buildings in 1964 was Glendor Research, who made security devices for diesel vehicles and lighting towers. The entrance to the site faced on to Watford Fields.

Thursday 23rd of March 2017 09:23:07 PM
The Railway Tavern pub

The Laird
Thursday 15th of October 2015 11:37:58 AM
Granville Road

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:21:52 PM
Short, rectilinear streets laid out at turn of 19th/20th century in Colney Butts.

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:16:18 PM

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:08:12 PM

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:07:39 PM
The grounds of Watford Girls' Grammar School, Lady Close (1907).

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:06:28 PM
Watford High Street

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:04:28 PM
Watford Field Recreation Ground

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:03:37 PM
Watford High Street Station, opened in 1862

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:01:54 PM
Those are actually shops next to the station building. They probably went at about the time that Exchange Road was put through here.

The Laird
Wednesday 14th of October 2015 09:06:35 PM
Sidings off the main Watford-Rickmansworth Branch railway

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 03:58:58 PM
Main brewery buildings constructed in late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were finally demolished between 1972 and 1983.

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 03:57:32 PM
No.200 High Street, Benskin's House (1775), now Watford Museum.

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 03:55:52 PM

User Comment Contributions

As a major employer in Watford until the 1960s, Benskin's Brewery is worth inclusion in a group featuring Watford during the interwar years, 1919-1939.

John Swain
Sunday 4th of August 2013 03:37:31 PM
In the eighty years since this image was taken, most (at least 75%) of the visible buildings have been swept away by the town's planners and developers, mostly since the 1960s and the introduction of Watford's new road system (to alleviate the former congestion on the High Street), in addition to modern retail parks. All very different from when this writer recalls the old town as a schoolboy in the 1950s.

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 04:33:34 PM
This is arguably the clearest oblique shot of the famous old brewery taken in the early 1930s, when the Benskin's Brewery was one of the major employers in the Watford area. Beer has been brewed in the district for thousands of years, but only since the 19th century on a commercial scale.

The main brewery buildings were constructed behind (on the western side) of the 1775 mansion on the High Street, in 1812. The third John Dyson extended the works (Cannon Brewery), before selling out to Joseph Benskin in 1867, a retired London publican, and a local draper called Mr Bradley. At the turn of the century, the buildings were rebuilt on a larger scale and thus the familiar landmark of the south Watford townscape became evident for the next eight decades.

Benskin's ceased brewing in 1969 because of high costs and poor road access, though bottling carried on for a further three years. By 1972, Watford had lost its reputation as a brewing town, and became another example of a labour-intensive industry giving way to modern rationalisation.

The final buildings were demolished in 1983 and the site was used as the Watford Springs swimming complex, although a longer term plan is to develop the vacant space for a housing project. At least this writer was given the opportunity of visiting the plant sixty years ago, when Little Furze Junior School sent a party of older pupils on a tour of the grand complex. The original Georgian house on the High Street is now the highly-regarded Watford Museum, which this observer visited at length in 2003.

John Swain
Wednesday 31st of July 2013 03:49:21 PM
My dad Peter Tims worked here at Benskins Brewery briefly in the early 1950's

Robert Tims
Saturday 27th of April 2013 11:01:08 PM