Further Expansion

During the First World War there were shortages of brewing materials and a vast increase in beer duty, which led to many alterations and innovations. For the first time in the brewery’s history, women were employed in many of the departments to replace the men who had gone to war.

Women workers in the maltings in 1918.

Some of the fermenting room staff during the war.

After the war a bonus scheme was introduced as an incentive for the employees, and tours of the brewery were often organised for customers, and all kinds of societies and groups. In 1919 new coppers and boilers were installed, and some of the plant and machines were renovated.

The ferro-concrete boiler house.

As seen in 2003.

In 1920 the appearance of the brewery, as seen from the main yard changed dramatically with the building of the ferro-concrete boiler house, and its distinctive clock, added in 1921.

In the same year the brewery lost another valuable member of staff when its Chairman, Mr. W. F. Wilson died. He was succeeded by his son, Mr. W. R. Wilson, under whose chairmanship the brewery went from strength to strength.

The first edition of the brewery’s staff magazine, the Springfield Brewery Journal appeared in December 1921. 150 copies, each with six pages were printed. It proved very popular, so much so that nine months later 300 copies, each with fourteen pages were printed.

It temporarily came to an end in September 1922 when the printing machine broke down, but reappeared in April 1924. By 1927 the circulation reached six hundred.

Around this time open fridges were installed to allow the production of wort to be increased.

Mr. W. F. Wilson. Courtesy of James Hewitt.

From the April 1924 edition of the Springfield Brewery Journal.

Over the next few years many alterations were made including the building of a long needed club house to cater for the social and sporting needs of the employees.

The fully equipped club house, which was opened by the Chairman Mr. W. R. Wilson in November 1922, became the headquarters of the Brewery Sports and Social Club.

In 1924 a sports ground opened. It doubled in size in 1928 after the purchase of some adjacent land.

There were facilities for bowls, cricket, football, quoits, and tennis.

Indoor activities included snooker and dominoes, entertainment, dances, and amateur dramatics.

Butler's club house.

The bowls teams played for the Wilson Bowling Cup, and in the Butler’s League, and the Works League.

In 1924 the brewery’s team played Star, Jenks and Cattell, the Chillington Tool Company, the Weldless Tube, Harpers, and Perks.

The football, cricket, and tennis teams played in Butler’s leagues, and works leagues.

There were also Butlers domino, and snooker leagues. Dances included an annual fancy dress dance, and an annual whist drive and dance.

There was also an amateur dramatics group that performed in the sports and social club, and elsewhere.

In 1925 ping pong and bagatelle tables were added to the club house, and a hockey team was formed.

The Works Cricket Team in 1924.

Back row: P. Collins, J. Bourne, W. Clarke, F. B. Jackson, J. Williams, and W. Bourne.
Front row:  J. Hadlington, E. Brooks, G. Carvey, G. Francis, W. Thompson, and F. Brettle.

The Building Department Bowls Team in 1924.

Back row:
H. G. Lee, G. Sambrook,
W. J. Evans, and A. Edwards.

Front row:
F. C. Ryall, A. Charles,
A. Williams (Captain), and
E. Hales.

Butler's 1926 football team.

On 9th March, 1923 Captain Theodore Addenbrooke (described as Major Addenbrooke in the company's magazine) unveiled the company’s war memorial in the brewery yard.

It was dedicated to those who perished in the First World War. The names of the employees who were killed in the Second World War were added later.

In 1996 after the closure of the site, the war memorial was moved to the Fallings Park Territorial Army Centre following concerns about its safety.

It has since been moved to the Black Country Living Museum where it can be seen today. It consists of a bronze figure of a British Soldier.

The War Memorial.

From the April 1924 edition of the Springfield Brewery Journal.

The new Cambridge Street entrance that had been built by 1889.

Mr. F. T. Langley, Company Vice-Chairman.

In 1923 Mr. C. P. Plant died. In 1924 he was replaced on the Board by Major T. Addenbrooke who had been Secretary of the company since 1895. At the same time Mr. A. C. Finniss became Company Secretary.

In 1924, Board member Mr. F. T. Langley died. He was replaced by Mr. A. W. Yardley who had been a partner in the Bloxwich Brewery. Before establishing the Bloxwich Brewery he had worked for his father  in Darlaston who ran J. Yardley & Son, Maltsters.

In the same year, the Chairman Mr. W. R. Wilson, a keen gardener, won the third prize in the Wolverhampton Flower Show for his garden flowers. He also entered other garden competitions including the Tettenhall flower show.

Looking along Cambridge Street in 2003.

Butler's Chairman, Mr. W. R. Wilson.

A company letterhead from 1928. Courtesy of James Hewitt.


Courtesy of Frank Sharman.

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