Search

Nostalgia: Bid to stop drinking in Romford fell on deaf ears

07:00 13 April 2014

Romford Brewery yard around the 1890s. Picture London Borough of Havering Local Studies

Romford Brewery yard around the 1890s. Picture London Borough of Havering Local Studies

Archant

In 1881, Romford Brewery covered more than 20 acres of the town, and employed around 800 staff.

The Brewery in Romford in the 1980s before it was redeveloped into a shopping centre. Picture: London Borough of Havering Local StudiesThe Brewery in Romford in the 1980s before it was redeveloped into a shopping centre. Picture: London Borough of Havering Local Studies

Ind Coope and Co’s beer was drunk all over the world, even on polar expeditions.

However, the company’s success did not please everyone. In the 19th century, Britain experienced a revival of traditional Christian values such as charity and clean living. Many people now saw alcohol as one of the great social evils, leading to the formation of temperance associations.

Many charitable organisations such as the Salvation Army adopted temperance as a key principle.

In February 1881, the Salvationists marched into Romford for the first time – to a frosty reception. Their journal The War Cry branded Romford a “brewery-blighted town”, and reported that whilst a few residents were persuaded to give up alcohol, “the people generally are hard and unbelieving”.

Matthew AbelMatthew Abel

The situation soon worsened. On February 16, the Salvationists were marching through Market Place and found their way blocked by a crowd watching a Punch and Judy show outside the Lamb pub.

The crowd hissed at the parade, and refused to move.

A fight then broke out, and local carpenter Job Durrant was pushed into the mud. The parade leader “Captain” John Wood was found guilty of assault at Romford Petty Sessions, and fined 20 shillings plus 18s 6d costs.

Despite their hostile welcome to Romford, the Salvation Army established a church, known as a “corps”, in North Street in October 1881. The November issue of The War Cry shows how the Salvationists believed alcohol was corrupting Romford: “The respectable church and chapel-going man, with wife, dressed in silks, furs, and feathers on one side, going to worship could not even get there without passing, every few yards, a mother with unwashed face and uncombed hair, surrounded by several little shoeless children, the father slowly strolling away, with his short pipe and unlaced boots, to the back way of the nearest public house.”

Today the Romford Salvation Army corps is located in High Street, just a few metres away from where the brewery once stood.

For more information on the Romford Brewery exhibition call 01708 766 571 or email exhibitions@haveringmuseum.org.uk.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

File photo dated 03/10/14 of a nurse giving a patient a diabetes test as there is growing evidence that a popular statin carries a particularly high risk of harmful side-effects, a doctor and campaigner has warned.

The number of people in Havering living with diabetes has decreased in the past year despite Type 2 increasing across the country.

Georgie and Jazz Smedley

It’s a dream for many women to be asked if they and their daughter are sisters and for one woman that happens nearly every day.

Reporter Ellena Rowlin at the body combat class

Many hunt for an exciting way to get fit and tone up that doesn’t involve a treadmill or heavy weights. Well, I’ve found it – body combat.

Yesterday, 23:25
Derek Bernstein

A 24-year-old man has been charged with dangerous driving after a fatal hit-and-run incident earlier this year.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder