DOVER KENT ARCHIVES
LIST BREWERIES Paul Skelton

 

Fremlins

 

Earl Street

Maidstone

Fremlins, Maidstone circa 1897

Above picture circa 1897. Taken from Bygone Breweries by Keith Osborne.

Fremlins, Maidstone circa 1970

Above picture circa 1970. Taken from Bygone Breweries by Keith Osborne.

 

The Pale Ale Brewery in Earl Street, Maidstone, dominated the riverside until 1981, when the fermenting block-the remaining sizeable building-was demolished. The brewhouse had been pulled down in 1976, four years after the cessation of brewing at Maidstone. Fremlins was the largest of the breweries in Kent; not only had it acquired several businesses in the County, but it had also cast its net further afield, taking over Adams' Brewery in Halstead, Essex in 1939 and Harris, Browne's Hadley Brewery at Barnet a year earlier. The Fremlins elephant lost its freedom in 1967, when Whitbread bought the business with its 800 or so licensed properties. (Photo by courtesy of Frank Baillie).

Ralph Fremlin established his brewery in 1861, when he acquired an almost derelict brewery from the executors of Mr John Heathorn. His beers were produced for the family trade only; he was a deeply religious man and his principles ruled out the purchase of public houses. To facilitate the sale of Fremlins ales and stouts, branch offices were opened in London and other towns in the South-east of England. Ralph Fremlin was a pioneer in the supply of beers in bottles and gallon jars, and the brewery's range of products was remarkable. At the time of the brewery's takeover in 1967, no less than nine bottled beers alone were produced.

(All info above from Bygone Breweries by Keith Osborne).

 

Fremlins bottle labels Fremlins Brown AleFremlins Light Ale Fremlins XXX AleFremlins County Ale Fremlins IPA Fremlins English AleFremline Kentish Beer
Fremlins Calendar 1897

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 25 November, 1938. Price 1½d.

FREMLIN’S LTD

The accounts of Fremlin’s Linited, Maidstone, to September 30th, show a trading account balance of £97,584. To this there is added balance of interest and dividends receivable and transfer fees, making £109,172. Directors’ fees and interest payable amount to £10,848, leaving £98, 342.

Dividend of 7½ per cent, on preference stock to 30th September took £26,250 and £22,000 was written off buildings and goodwill leaving a balance of £50,074. Out of this sum provision has been made for income tax and National Defence Contribution and an interim dividend distributed of 3 per cent. on the ordinary stock. To the balance of £21,574 the amount brought forward from last account is added, making £57,197. Out of this sum the directors recommend a final dividend of 6 per cent. on the ordinary stock which will absorb £21,000, leaving £36,197 to be carried forward.

This dividend is 1 per cent. less than last year.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 20 May, 1949.

FREMLINS LIMITED ANNUAL MEETING

The 20th annual general meeting of Fremlins Ltd. Maidstone , was held at the “Royal Star Hotel,” Maidstone, on may 11th, Mr. Alfred C. Leney, J.P. (Chairman) presiding.

There were also present Mr. G. T. Cook and Major Claud Leney, D.S.O. (joint managing directors), Mr. T. S. Manning, J.P., Mr. F. N. Adams, the Hon Mister F. Remnant, Mr. D. E. Mosley, M.C., and Capt. The Rt. Hon. Lord Cornwallis, K.B.E., M.C. (director.)

The Chairman circulated statement read:- During the year we have lost an old and valued colleague by the death of Mr. Albert Loftus Brown. He had just retired after serving the Company for nearly 70 years, and his experience and advice was of the utmost value in our affairs. We express sympathy with his relatives.

As you will see from the report, Mr. Hills, after over 68 years’ service with the Company, has expressed a desire to retire, and therefore does not offer himself for re-election as a director. He was general manager and managing director of this business for a period of over 25 years, and the Company owes him a great debt for his long and loyal service.

We wish him every happiness in his retirement, and I feel sure the shareholders will agree that he has most thoroughly earned the suggested pension of £500 per annum, which it is proposed to grant to him.

It is again my privilege to present to you the Accounts of this Company.

For various reasons to you in my report on the accounts of the year ending September 30th, 1947, this accounting period of 16 months, in order that all the accounts of the Fremlins Group may end on January 31st. This year the accounts have been re-arranged to conform to the requirements of the Companies Act, 1948.

There are many factors affecting the accounts which have to be considered before making a comparison between a 16-months’ period and one of 12 months, e.g., the present accounts cover two Christmas seasons.

We have continued our endeavour to catch up with some of the war years arrears of repairs to our properties, a measure of such catching up being £33,000 taken out of provision for repairs and renewals. Provision for taxation has been made for the profits of the full 16 months, and £31,000 has been added in contingencies reserve.

TO RESERVE FUND

The re-arrangement of the balance sheet shows that since the formation of the Company in 1928, nearly £175,000 has been written off the cost values of our properties plant and goodwill. You will notice that the Company has made substantial provision out of contingencies reserve for pensions and superannuation.

Two interim dividends, as four told in my last report, have been paid this year totalling 8 per cent., and the final dividend of 10 per cent. brings the total to 18 per cent. less tax for the 16 months, to compare with 1¼ per cent, for the previous 12 months. The carry-forward having been increased by £3,248 now stands at £58,658.

Our grateful thanks are due to all employees for their loyal services.

We have in continuation of our policy of interest in the general wellbeing of the staff and employees of the Company improved our pension police by introducing a non-contributory pension scheme for both staff and work-people, which also makes provision for widows in the event of death during service.

In addition, the employees receive holidays with pay, and a contribution by the Company is made in the case of any loss of income due to illness or accident.

Bearing in mind the urgent need of a well-defined country, all employees are encouraged to join the Territorial Forces and campings are allowed over and above the annual holiday without pecuniary loss to the employees.

As those of you who are acquainted with the areas in which the Company’s properties are situated are aware every effort is made to maintain and improve the comfort and condition of all our houses, and to give the utmost service to our patrons. We therefore endorse the considerable misgiving voiced by the public concerning the trend of the present Government towards the State control of public houses, which, if effected, can only result in the loss of the present personal contact between producer and consumer which must be an inevitable outcome of State control.

Our appreciation of unfailing cooperation from the Company’s tenants in our joint efforts to ensure the satisfaction of all our consumers, is acknowledged with sincere thanks.

We have already been informed of the purchase of the Company of the old established business of Messrs. George Beer and Rigden Limited. Your directors are confident the effect of the purchase will be to the general benefit of your Company.

BORROWING POV

In his remarks, the Chairman added:-

You will remember that an extra ordinary general meeting of the Company was held in March last when your sanction was asked for an increase in the borrowing powers of your Directors to a sum not exceeding two million pound. (£2,000,000)

This permission being granted the purchase of the whole of the limited preference and ordinary share capital of George Beer and Rigden Limited was duly completed by bank borrowings.

The question of funding this loan is now being considered by a committee of your directors and a statement will be published as soon as the matter is finally arranged.

I need only add that the directors will give due consideration to the possibility of giving preference in any issue that might be made to the then stockholders.

NEW DIRECTOR

The name of Cornwallis is one that is honoured and revered throughout Kent and to a Kentish Company I am sure his Lordship needs no introduction from me.

Lord Cornwallis is a very busy man and we consider ourselves most fortunate in having obtained his acceptance to serve on the Board.

He is a man of many interests, and it is certain his advice and wise counsel will be an immense asset to the Company.

You have read in my statement and also the report of the directors that our old friend and colleague Mr. Henry Hills, has tendered his resignation as a director of the Company after an association of 68 years with this Company and its predecessors.

Your directors therefore propose to ask for your authority to pay him a retiring allowance of £500 per annum, and I have very much pleasure in proposing: “That the stockholders in general meeting and assembled authorise the Board of Directors to pay Mr. Henry Hills a pension of £500 per annum, to take effect as from this date.

The proposition was passed and the report adopted.

A stockholder proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, and directors and staff, and the meeting then terminated.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 28 May, 1965.

BEER BEATEN

Fremlins 1965

Fremlins, the East Kent brewers - whose emblem is an elephant - came to the aid of Elephant Battery of the 40th Field Regiment, R.A. at Dover on Friday.

The battery was racing against three others to transport a 1½-ton field gun from Germany to Alexandra Palace, London.

Fremlins met the Gunners at the quayside - the men are seen aboard their lorry above - and carried the gun to London. But another team, from Tiger Battery, won the day after crossing from Hook of Holland to Harwich. And guess who helped Tiger Battery?

 

From an email received 16 January 2012

I came across this glass in Belgium.

Fremlins glass

Regards,

David Cooper.

 

Picture taken from http://farm3.staticflickr.com

Fremlins Truck 1926

The above photo show a Mr. S. Streeter in 1926 with his Fremlins truck.

From an email received April 2012

I purchased a vehicle in February 2012 and told it was registered to Fremlins Brewery in 1933. I would be grateful of any information or old photos of this car if possible.

Fremlins Austin 7

The vehicle concerned is a Austin 7 (Opal) PD Tourer 1933 registration number AKO771 blue in colour.

The vehicle was registered the Fremlins in 1933 and stayed with them for 40 years. It then went into disrepair and seems to have been restored around 1991.Only 4 owners from new, that's the only information at this stage I've found. I will keep in touch and send more photos soon.

Fremlins Austin 7

Regards,

Paul Sleeman.

 

From an email sent 15 August, 2012.

Fremlins badge

The above kindly sent to me from Jorn Cooper, shows one of the Fremlin badges that were very popular in the 1960s.

 

From an email received, 27 January, 2013

Dear Sirs,

I have 3 Vintage Beer barrel branding irons, for sale, one of which is a FREMLINS, the others being MEW&Co and TENNANT, if you are interested. Please use photo.

Yours sincerely,

Nicola Barrett.

(I believe they must have been sold by now, but below is a photograph of what they looked like. Paul Skelton)

Branding Irons

 

If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-

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