Alternative Reference number2001/57
TitleTennant Brothers Ltd, Exchange Brewery, Bridge Street, Sheffield and Associated Breweries
AdminHistoryThe business was based at Exchange Brewery, Bridge Street. The early history of Tennant Brothers goes back to 1820, when the business was established by Proctor and Company in the Market Place. 1840 saw the beginning of the Tennant interest in the business, with brothers Edward and Robert running the company, joined by Thomas Moore in 1847.

In 1852 the Duke of Norfolk chose to have a new market erected on the original brewery site, so the business transferred to Bridge Street.

In 1882 the Exchange Brewery was registered as a public company. During the twentieth century the business expanded to become Sheffield’s and Yorkshire’s leading brewery. In 1916 it acquired A. H. Smith’s Don Brewery, followed in 1918 by Strout’s Burton Road Brewery, and Berry’s Moorhead Brewery in 1924. All brewing at these companies ceased and was transferred to Bridge Street.

In 1944 the business and assets of the Nottingham Brewery Company were acquired. This was a significant takeover, as the Nottingham Brewery’s subsidiaries included the Wellow Brewery in Grimsby, the Cardington Brewery Company in Bedfordshire and James Rose and Company of Nettleton in Lincolnshire. Brewing in Nottingham continued until 1952, and when these ceased, Tennants retained the “Rock Ales” made famous by the Nottingham Brewery Company.

In 1954 it joint acquired with Stones’ Sheffield Free Brewery. In 1958 they acquired Clarkson’s Old Brewery of Wood Street, Barnsley, with its 58 public houses. 1959 saw the last of Tennant Brothers’ acquisitions, that of the Worksop and Retford Breweries at the Priorwell Brewery, Worksop, with 192 pubs.

By the early 1960s Tennant Brothers had around 700 pubs. These were acquired by Whitbread when a merger took place. From 4 Sep 1969 Tennant Brothers became known as Whitbread (Yorkshire) Limited and this name was changed from 1 Oct 1972 to Whitbread East Pennines Limited. The Exchange Brewery finally closed in 1993.

The Exchange Brewery produced a number of well-known beers during the first half of the twentieth century, including the Lion Pale Ale (winner of the Prix d’Excellence at Brussels in 1958), the Wharncliffe Ale (dark mild), the Fitzalan (light mild) and the Queen’s Ale (best and ordinary).
DescriptionThis collection comprises:

Director's Minutes Books, 1882 - 1983 (MD7518/1)

AGM and ordinary general meeting minute books, 1882 - 1987 (MD7518/2)

Management Committee Meeting Minutes, 1953 - 1969 (MD7518/3)

Balance sheets and accounts, 1901 - 1963 (MD7518/4)

Registers, 1883 - 1967 (MD7518/5)

Share registers, 1906 - 1965 (MD7518/6)

Miscellaneous leases, tenancy agreements, other agreements, securities etc., 1898 - 1955 (MD7518/7)

Private ledgers and journals, 1917 - 1956 (MD7518/8)

Salaries books, 1917 - 1962 (MD7518/9)

Payments by cheque books, 1961 - 1966 (MD7518/10)

Cash books, pensions and wages etc., 1950 - 1969 (MD7518/11)

Property ledgers, various, c. 1930 - 1977 (MD7518/12)

Deeds and documents, 1789 - 1957 (MD7518/13)

Brewing books, various, 1952 - 1973 (MD7518/14)

Beer duty books, 1965 - 1975 (MD7518/15)

Brewing journals, 1891 - 1960 (MD7518/16)

Brewing disposals books, 1959 - 1964 (MD7518/17)

Brewing costs books. 1955 - 1967 (MD7518/18)

Brewing notebooks, 1945 - 1971 (MD7518/19)

Correspondence between Tennants and other breweries regarding possible takeovers etc., 1932 - 1961 (MD7518/20)

Reports, 1891 - 1962 (MD7518/21)

Plans, 1890 - 1969 (MD7518/22).

Miscellaneous items, 1897 - 1995 (MD7518/23)

Associated companies, 1825 - 1972 (MD7518/24):

The Gold Label Barley Wine Company Limited, 1958 - 1970 (MD7518/24/1)

William Hickling and Son Limited, 1922 - 1970 (MD7518/24/2)

Home Bottlers Limited, 1935 - 1970 (MD7518/24/3)

Laing and Company Limited, 1922 - 1970 (MD7518/24/4)

Porter and Wright and Company Limited, 1929 - 1970 (MD7518/24/5)

Wiley and Company Limited c. 1873 - 1972 (MD7518/24/6)
Date1789 - 1995
Extent241 items
RelatedMaterialSheffield City Archives:

Thomas Berry & Company Limited, Moorhead Brewery, Sheffield, 1899 - 1924 (MD7519)

Sheffield Free Brewery Company Limited, Queens Road, Sheffield, 1911 - 1924 (MD7520)

Old Albion Brewery Company Limited, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, 1900 - 1970 (MD7521)

A. H. Smith and Company Limited, 1893 - 1991 (X816)

Strouts Brewery Company Limited, 1885 - 1991 (X817)

Papers relating to sales to Tennant Brothers Ltd.; property: The Belle Vue Hotel, Sheffield, 1915 (ACM/65434/42)

Sheffield Local Studies:

‘Bygone breweries of Sheffield : a summary of the brewing trade in the city 100 years ago’, David Parry [1981] (663.3 SQ)
CustodialHistoryThese records became part of Whitbread Public Limited Company when they bought Tennant Brothers in 1962. The records were transferred at an unknown date (possibly 1982) to The Whitbread Archive, Chiswell Street, London. In 2001 Whitbread Public Limited Company decided to sell all its breweries and brewing interests (Whitbread Beer Company). The Board also decided in the same year they no longer wished to have an archive. The records were gifted to Sheffield City Archives in 2001.
AcquisitionSourceThese records were donated to Sheffield Archives by Whitbread plc in 2001.
ArchNoteThese items were catalogued by Benjamin Longden in 2018.
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