William Hancock & Co. Ltd Round Black Backed Steel

William Hancock & Co. Ltd black backed steel tray dating from the 1930s. The brewery was based in Cardiff, South Glamorgan.
William Hancock & Co. Ltd black backed steel tray dating from the 1930s. William Hancock founded the Wiveliscombe Brewery in Somerset in 1807. After the death of his father in 1845, his son, also called William, took over control of the business. By the 1870s Hancock's was using an agent to distribute its cask ales, brewed in Wiveliscombe, from West Bute Dock in Cardiff. In 1884 William Hancock purchased North and Low's Bute Dock Brewery in Cardiff, and began brewing in Wales. Having purchased a brewery in South Wales, William Hancock acquired a number of small breweries in the area. Edwin Hibbard's Anchor Brewery in Newport was purchased in 1884, and the Dowson Brothers Phoenix Brewery in Cardiff was acquired in 1887. The rapid growth of the Company in Wales resulted in William registering a separate business, William Hancock & Co. Ltd, in 1887. By this time Hancock's estate totalled 77 public houses in Cardiff and Newport. William Hancock & Co. Ltd acquired John Biggs & Co.'s South Wales Brewery with 12 public houses in 1889, and Ackland & Thomas's West End Brewery of Swansea in 1890. Hancock's operated the West End Brewery until 1969. In 1894 Hancock's purchased the County Brewery in Crawshay Street, Cardiff, from F.S.Lock. Brewing was transferred from the Bute Dock Brewery to the County Brewery. Henry Anthony & Co. Ltd's Castle Brewery with 12 public houses in Cardiff was acquired in 1895, Thomas Jones & Co. Glamorgan Brewery in Swansea was purchased in 1901, and the Canton Cross Brewery Co. Ltd in Cardiff was taken over in 1904. Hancock's purchased two more breweries before World War One. John Sherwood in Caerleon, and Lewis Jenkins Vale of Glamorgan Brewery in Cowbridge were both acquired in 1914. During the War it purchased the Singleton Brewery Co. Ltd's Wellington Brewery, a small business with no tied houses in Swansea. Between the two World Wars, the Company acquired John Rees Abernant Brewery in 1924, the Swansea Old Brewery in 1927, and Giles & Harrap's Merthyr Brewery with 62 public houses in 1936. The business continued to trade successfully and by the late 1960s it owned 505 public houses across South Wales. It was a perfect target for a bigger brewer. William Hancock & Co. Ltd was acquired by Bass Charrington Ltd in 1968 and became Welsh Brewers Ltd. During the 1980s the Company traded as Bass Brewing (Cardiff) Ltd and Bass Wales Ltd. The site was sold to S.A.Brain & Co. Ltd in 1999 which transferred all its brewing to Crawshay Street. When Brain's moved to a new site in 2019, Hancock's brewery was closed and demolished.
More Information
Brewery Origin Wales
County South Glamorgan
Reverse Finish Black Backed
Tray Manufacturer Reginald Corfield Ltd (Lombard Road)
Tray Material Steel
Year Of Manufacture 1938
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