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Yateley's Inns, Beerhouses and Maltsters


The Exhibition Team, 1997


To mount an exhibition like this has taken a great deal of effort by many Society members over a great many years, not just in the mad rush of the last few weeks of writing captions and sticking them on card. Without the efforts of Sydney Loader, Jean McIlwaine and John Herman collecting the old photographs and postcards over many years, and John and Geoff Hoare keeping photographic libraries, we should have nothing to show you. Without Sydney's and Jean's transcriptions of the parish registers and Jean's typing teams we would not know when any of these inn and alehouse keepers were born, got married or died. Without the efforts of the members of WEA/Yateley Society History Project, lead by John Porter and Michael Holroyd some dozen years ago, we should not have the pre-1700 wills, nor the census records nor the directories. Don Ridgers, who lead the wills and inventory team, is himself almost certainly descended from the original Yateley Maltsters. Without Richard Johnston's many hours in the Record Office cataloguing the Manorial Court books we should not know where anyone lived, and without his computer programme and hours of scanning, we should not have it all on our screen. Valerie Kerslake has of course started us off walking, using her two books, round Yateley's pubs. Valerie and David have transcribed John Mills' diary onto the computer. Michael Holroyd provided us with a carefully annotated stack of books on coaching, and did the original work on the Tithe map. Even to be able to start on an exhibition like this, is the culmination of hours and hours of work by many people over decades, rather than a few months.


We have been lucky therefore that much of the data for the research for this exhibition is now available on our computers in the comfort of our Yateley homes. Of course, helped by Richard, we have had to visit the Record Offices in Winchester and Reading to get additional material, such as the licensing records; to read original documents, such as the Dog & Partridge leases; and to make family connections never before hinted at. Elizabeth has received much help from the Rural History Centre, Reading University and the Curtis Museum in Alton. We have received a veritable barrage of new research on local inns and breweries from third parties such as Glynis Wilsdon, Keith Osborne and Maurice Marlow. We have also learnt the value of close liaison with historical societies and archivists in the surrounding parishes. We mention particularly Sandhurst Historical Society, and Sara Beer of Eversley. Local families and businesses didn't stay within single parishes. We have renewed old acquaintances and made new ones through the One-Name societies of the Cave and Cobbett families. We have received packs of historical records and data from the archivists of Courage and Morlands, and in the case of Courage's archivist, even faxed more data at short notice to aid our narrative.


Of course an exhibition is not only research, it is presentation. Tony Hocking has drawn maps, cartoons and computer graphics, Valerie has drawn the illustrations of herbs, Neil Pattenden and Richard Johnston have scanned pictures into the computer. Ted Dowling has unearthed barrels and storage jars, and Norma has continued research on Brookfield House right up to the last minute to give you the tragic end of Thomas Bartlett.


Research for this exhibition has included earnest discussions with friends who still home-brew from basic ingredients in much the same way as advocated by William Cobbett, and even entailed some enjoyable tastings, of modern brews to follow the fashions in beer drinking in the last two centuries.


Thank goodness summer has come, and we can now get out into the garden away from the computer!

Peter and Elizabeth Tipton

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