Hampshire Record Office is pleased to report that the cataloguing of the extensive archive of Gales Brewery, Horndean has recently been completed by Record Office volunteer and former archivist Dr Anne Thick (ref: 74A09). 

The history of the Gales brewery can be traced back to 1847, when Richard Gale bought the Ship and Bell Public House in Horndean, together with its associated brewery. His fourth son, George Alexander Gale, took over the management of the Ship and Bell in 1853 and began to expand the business by purchasing local inns.  

George Alexander Gale (74A09/H20/1) 

A fire partly destroyed the brewery in 1869; rebuilding included a brick tower which was to become a local landmark. In 1888 George Gale was appointed Managing Director and Chairman to the newly incorporated George Gale & Co. George held this position for only a few years, due to the sale in 1896 of a majority shareholding to Herbert Frederick Bowyer, a miller from Guildford, Surrey, with the Gale family continuing in an executive capacity. The business continued a policy of takeover and acquisition of licensed premises over the next hundred years.  

Gales Brewery in the snow, 1963 (74A09/H18/1) 

By the end of the twentieth century its estate included over 120 public houses across the south and south-east of England. The brewery at Horndean produced a wide range of award-winning beers which were sold mainly through its tied and free trade. In 2005 Gales Brewery was bought by the London brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner. Production at Horndean ceased in 2006 and the site was sold for redevelopment. 

Chairmakers Arms, Denmead, a Gales Public House, 1968 (74A09/H14/1) 

The extensive archive reflects the various areas of business activity of Gales Brewery. Records begin mainly from the late nineteenth century with corporate and financial papers dating from 1888, although there are earlier deeds for some of its properties. Many of the Gales public houses are documented through tenancy agreements, inventories and valuations, property registers, plans and photographs. The archive is particularly strong in records relating to marketing and public relations. As a result, there are posters and leaflets, press cuttings and a large number of photographs promoting the brewery, its products and public houses and other activities. 

Conveyance of the Milkman’s Arms, Emsworth, 1884 (74A09/E1/3/1) 

The company celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1997. A history of the business by Barry Stapleton and James Thomas, ‘A Study in Brewing, Business and Family History’ (2000), gives a detailed account of the development of Gales Brewery from its nineteenth century origins to the end of the twentieth century, a copy of which is available in the Hampshire Record Office library and also through the Hampshire County Library Service 

Sale particulars of The Three Horseshoes, East Worldham, 1930 (74A09/E15/4) 

Plan of the Golden Lion, Fareham, 1933 (74A09/E17/27) 


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