A drop of water with that, sir?

What a find! An excellent piece of William Roberts ephemera bagged by new reader Steve Cottle.

Steve Cottle, a new reader of the Brownhills Blog, who was very interested in the bottles found by readers [Howmuch?] and Jim Fletcher, has very kindly supplied a photo of his excellent Roberts Brewery bar-jug. It’s a fine thing, to be sure – note the reference to the ‘Station Brewery’ which was situated behind the Station Hotel, and the locomotive logo as displayed on Jim Fletcher’s bottle. I’d be interested to know what ‘Direct from bond’ means, too.

My thanks to Steve for sharing this with us – had no idea such ephemera existed. Wonderful!

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9 Responses to A drop of water with that, sir?

  1. Alex says:

    I wonder if Direct From Bond is something to do with bonded warehouses – I know there was one on Pelsall Road, no idea if it’s still there.

  2. Steve Wilcox says:

    I think, with whisky at least, after distillation the spirit has to be transferred to casks and stored in a warehouse, sealed by customs & excise, for a minimum of 3 years. This is known as being “in bond” . . . .

  3. Jeepboy says:

    Spirits are stored ‘duty-free’ in bonded warehouses with payment of the excise duty necessary before release – by stating they are ‘direct from bond’ he is implying the veracity of his spirits differentiating them from the many illicit brews around at the time.

  4. Thanks for that, guys. Interesting. It seems that Mr. Roberts was trying for a distinctly more classy image than I’d have expected…

    Nice one!



  5. Caz says:

    Going off the subject a bit Bob, i’ve noticed, when searching Brownhills on Ebay that Brownhills pottery items come up. is this OUR Brownhills and if so, could this have been made there.

    • Aha! I wondered this for a while myself.
      There’s an area of Tunstall, in the Potteries, that also shares our name. Confusingly, there’s a Brownhills School there too. Situated there from 1872-1896 was The Brownhills Pottery Co, later absorbed into Salt Brothers, then in 1904 they were in turn taken over by Thomas Till & Son. I don’t think the factory exists any more. Details can be found here:


      Confusing matters somewhat, I heard that The Potclays Company that operated out of Swan Works, on the Pelsall Road, supplied a very specialist clay for a specific type of china. Anyone got any more details?

      Best wishes


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  8. Pedro says:

    Dec 1904: Mr William Roberts JP, the Chairman of the Brownhills UDC, was summoned for breaches of the Factories Act at his brewery at Brownhills. The offences related to the inspection and reports concerning boilers. A fine of £2 and costs was imposed. A charge under another section was withdrawn on payment of costs.

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