The Prince of Wales will visit the Wadworth Brewery this Friday (March 17) which works closely with The Prince’s Pub is the Hub Initiative, to learn more about the history of the family-owned business and tour its facilities, including the traditional sign painting shop and Shire horse stables.
During the visit His Royal Highness will tour the brewery, and will have the chance to put the finishing touches on a plaque being painted to commemorate the visit. The plaque will be painted by the brewery’s traditional sign painter, responsible for creating and maintaining the brewery’s traditional, hand painted pub signs.
His Royal Highness will also attend a reception for supporters and beneficiaries of The Prince’s ‘Pub is the Hub’ initiative. Wadworth helps fund Pub is the Hub and is working with the initiative to help identify and support pubs in Wiltshire and the South West to further enhance their community facilities.
Wadworth is a family-owned company brewing real ale and operating over 200 pubs in the South West of England. Henry Alfred Wadworth founded the brewery in 1875, aged 22. In 1887, his friend and brother-in-law, John Smith Bartholomew bought a quarter share in the brewery.
The Northgate brewery site was completed in 1885 and is the site of the brewery today. With no male heir on the Wadworth side, it was John Smith Bartholomew’s son who succeeded his father as managing director in 1923, becoming chairman in 1929. Today, Wadworth is still a family brewer with John Smith Bartholomew’s great-grandson, Charles Bartholomew, as the current Wadworth chairman.
The brewery today still has recognisable characteristics from its 1875 predecessor including the Shire horses, Monty, Max and Archie, delivering beer to Devizes’ pubs daily, artists in residence creating its own hand painted pub signs and the original open copper used for brewing special ales.
Pub is The Hub was inspired by The Prince of Wales and set up in 2001 and believes that pubs should be hubs of community life. They can provide essential services beyond the usual drinks, food and entertainment.
Pub is The Hub is an organisation of specialist voluntary advisors who assist rural pubs and licensees who are thinking of broadening their range of services.
The organisation encourages good licensees, communities, pub owners, breweries, local authorities and the private sector to work together to identify community needs, which can then be met by the local pub.