J.W.Cameron & Co. Ltd Round Black Backed Steel


J.W.Cameron & Co. Ltd black backed steel tray dating from the early 1930s. The Lion Brewery is based in Hartlepool, County Durham.

J.W.Cameron & Co. Ltd black backed steel tray dating from the early 1930s. The business was founded in 1852 by William Waldon in Hartlepool. In 1865 Waldon employed a young brewer, John William Cameron, to assist him. The Lion Brewery was leased to Cameron in 1872. A new expanded Lion Brewery, which is still operating, was built on the same site and commenced brewing in 1892. When the lease expired Cameron purchased the brewery outright in 1893. The company was registered as J.W.Cameron Ltd in 1894 with 50 tied houses. After registration the company started to expand quickly and by the turn of the century four breweries, in the North East of England, had been acquired. Takeovers included Nixy, Coleclough & Baxter Ltd of Hartlepool in 1894, Rickinson & Sons Ltd of Hartlepool in 1895, E.J.Sait of Stockton-on-Tees in 1896, and T.E.Chapman & Son of Sunderland, in 1897. Cameron's estate increased by nearly 200 public houses. In 1894 the company went public. John William Cameron died in 1896 and was succeeded by his brother Watson Cameron. John Ellerman became Vice Chairman of the company in 1897. In the same year the Lion Brewery was further expanded and, by 1900, the company owned 400 public houses. Before and after the First World War, Camerons continued to acquire more breweries in the North East of England including John Heslop Ltd of Norton-on-Tees in 1909, Robert Newton Ltd of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1920 and Plews & Sons Ltd of Leeming in 1925, with 100 public houses. The company share price doubled in value between 1933 and 1938. After World War Two acquisitions continued apace including John J.Hunt Ltd of York with 230 public houses, and Scarborough & Whitby Breweries Ltd in 1953, Fryer & Sons Ltd of Stokesley in 1959, West Auckland Brewery Co. Ltd with 80 public houses in 1959 and Russells & Wrangham Ltd of Malton with 80 public houses in 1961. In 1970 a new brewhouse was built. In 1974 Ellerman Lines acquired the 25% shareholding previously owned by John Ellerman, who had died, and in 1975 a takeover was complete. Ellerman Lines was a struggling shipping company which purchased the company, its Lion Brewery and 500 public houses. In 1983 the brewery was upgraded to enable brewing of bottom fermented lager. In 1983 Ellerman Lines was acquired by the Barclay Brothers and by 1985 Cameron's accounted for 5% of sales in the UK beer market. In 1985, new managing director Alistair Arkley, split the pub and brewing arms of the company into separate divisions. The pub business continued to expand including acquisition of 80 public houses from Mansfield Brewery Co. Ltd and a few pubs in the North West of England. In 1987 Camerons purchased the pub estate of Melbourns Brewery Ltd of Stamford. In 1989 J.W.Cameron & Co. Ltd and Tollemache & Cobbold Breweries Ltd were sold by the Barclay Brothers to the Brent Walker Group. At the time of the sale Camerons controlled 480 licensed public houses and 270 hotels and off-licenses. In 1991 the brewing arm of the business was one of the most efficient in Britain, but the Brent Walker Group was heavily in debt and was forced to sell the Lion Brewery and a few public houses to Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Ltd. The remaining 1600 pubs were retained by Brent Walker which created a pubco, Pubmaster, based in Hartlepool. The entire remaining estate was sold to a syndicate investment group in 1996. Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Ltd mothballed part of the brewery but invested heavily in marketing and upgraded other parts of the brewery. Within a few years the estate was doubled to more than 100 pubs. In 1997 the company won the license to contact brew Fosters lager and £1m was invested in new plant, including a new keg facility. In 1999 the previously mothballed part of the brewery was upgraded and further significant contracts were won to brew Harp, Heineken and Kronenbourg 1664 lagers. Wolverhampton & Dudley turned around the business completely. In 2002 the brewery was sold to Castle Eden Brewery Ltd, owned by David Soley, and all its brewing was transferred to Hartlepool. The new company won further more sizeable contracts from Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Ltd. Many famous brand names continue to be brewed at the Lion Brewery including Fosters, Kronenbourg 1664, John Smith's Magnet Ale, Tetley Imperial, Tetley Mild and Tetley Dark Mild. 80% of production capacity is for contract brewing, however Cameron's cask conditioned Strongarm, which was first brewed in 1955, continues to be brewed at the Lion Brewery. In 2016 the company acquired the pub estate of the Leeds Brewery Co. Ltd.

More Information
Brewery Origin England
County Durham
Reverse Finish Black Backed
Tray Manufacturer Unknown
Tray Material Steel
Year Of Manufacture 1932
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