Brewery Workers

A group of B.Y.B. employees in the brewery yard. The photo is believed to have been taken shortly before the First World War. Click on the photo for the story of one of the men.

This page features photographs of groups of workers taken throughout the brewery’s history. If you can identify any of the individuals please email 

Brewery workers gather to say their goodbyes on the day the site was closed down by Whitbread in 1984 after 156 years of operations.

Women and girls from the bottling department at Bentley’s brewery. The photo was taken during or just after the First World War. The only person so far identified is Adina Goodall who is in the middle row, second from the right. She was born in Swillington in 1898 and was the daughter of miner Mannasah Goodall. In May 1920 she married Tom Sampson, a miner from Stanley.

A group of coopers in the brewery in about 1915. The youngest, wearing a cap on the back row, is believed to be George Wright who started work at Bentley’s when he left school in 1912 becoming an indentured apprentice cooper in 1914.
A group of workers mainly from the bottling department in about 1930. The young boy with the sports cup was Derek Lyon whose father, Alexander Lyon, was the yard foreman. They lived in a small cottage at the entrance to the brewery. When Alexander died his widow was allowed to stay in the house in exchange for making sure the brewery gates were locked at night. The three men on the left of the back row are Percy Biggs, Tommy Gill and Teddy Walsh. The girl next to Teddy was called Jowsey and the man on the end of the back row was Harold Maundrill who lived in Rothwell.
A sunny day in the 1970s after Whitbread had taken over. John Thorpe, Harold Page and Brian Wright worked in the Wines and Spirits department. Behind them is an office block converted from an engine house which used to contain an electric engine for hauling railway wagons by cable through the brewery yard.
A group from the 1970s. Back row: Billy Ward, Unknown, Geoff Roberts, Gerald Weaver, Malcolm Rayson, Alan Owen, John Gill, Syd Barrett, Albert Bentley. Front row: John Craic, Harold Jones, Monckton, Ronnie Kemp, Stan Walker.
This group worked in the Wines and Spirits department during the Whitbread years. Don Thorpe, John Thorpe, David Utley, Harold Page and foreman Jack Cudworth are with Marjorie Worrell.
A leaving do for draymen Barry Daniels and Kenny Firth. Back row: Clive Dickenson, Kenny Firth, Richard Heggs, John Starr, Barry Daniels, Norman Barrett, Jeff Arnett, Colin Ellis. Front row: David Blair, Neville Hirst, Alan Manson and Melvin Cooper. Most of the men pictured were draymen but John Starr worked in storage and handling, Barry Daniels and Alan Manson were shunters in the yard moving the 40ft trailers for loading and unloading, and Richard Heggs was the distribution manager.
Another leaving photo from 1984. Front row: Margaret Freeman, Florrie Lawrie, Margaret Warrilow, Ann Baddelly, Marjorie Worrell, Geoff Roberts, Sylvia Tayor, Barbara Gunson, Joyce Wrigglesworth, John Starr, Unknown. Middle row: Roy Clayton, Alan Lawrie, Neville Hirst, Denis Freeman, Jeff Arnett, Billy Ward, Clive Dickenson, Jack Rider, Malcolm Raysen, Kenny Clegg, Malcolm Lofthouse, Henry Bickerdyke, Don Wadkin, Jack Oxley. Back row: Terry Brennan, Alan Dexter, Bill Booth, Dennis Noble.
Office staff just before closure by Whitbread in 1984. Front row: Mandy Powell, Shirley Coombs, Barbara Lee, Anne Pearson, Betty Benson, nurse Stella Cunliffe. Back row: Vera Taylor, Margaret Warrilow, Angela Holley, Ann Wild, Marie Mitchell, Joyce Wrigglesworth, Margaret Musgrave, Florrie Laurie, Doreen Watson, Brenda McBeeth, Margaret Freeman, Jennifer Taylor, Sylvia Taylor.