Achievements and Performance
A key objective for the Trust this year has been to try to increase our membership numbers – at both individual and corporate level. We have achieved some success in this respect, and it has been particularly gratifying to receive positive support from some of the Brewing Industry’s principal organisations – in particular The Brewers’ Company and the British Beer and Pub Association.
Improving communications with members was also one of the reasons the trustees decided to upgrade and relaunch the Trust’s website during the year. In addition to listing the Trust’s aims and objectives, the website now contains details of who the trustees are, together with regular updates on activities and projects. The website also lists all the Trust’s corporate members and provides links to their websites.
Another feature of the new website is an on-line shop, which the trustees hope to develop further as a source of revenue to help fund our restoration projects. Currently the shop is offering a range of laminated coasters featuring pre-war brewery bottle labels, as well as two designs of Christmas cards featuring vintage Christmas covers from two brewing companies’ in-house magazines.
In the new year the Trust also intends to provide a link from the website to the collection of digitised photos of the Charrington pub estate which the Trust owns, and to promote the sale of these on a range of branded merchandise.
One of the Trust’s major refurbishment projects during 2017 has been the repair and repainting of the protective canopy housing the Burton Union Set, situated in the National Brewery Centre (NBC) car park. Two new descriptive signs were also commissioned to explain the significance of Union Sets in the development of British brewing. The Trust would very much like to continue this project and repair and refurbish the Union Set itself, but finding a practical and cost-effective way of doing this has so far proved elusive.
Another project which the Trust is funding is the repair and repainting of a wooden barley wagon. Steady progress has been made during the year but work is still on-going, mainly because the project is very much dependent on specialist as well as voluntary input.
As its contribution towards the NBC’s reopening of the White Shield micro-brewery as a visitor attraction, the Trust has funded the purchase and installation of an illuminated, perspex-fronted, wall-mounted display cabinet, which features a number of 50 year old (plus) beer bottles from a collection donated to the Trust last year.
During the year the Trust has also been the recipient of funds from the Baily Thomas Provident Fund, for the purchase of packaging and storage material to wrap and house a comprehensive collection of archive material on loan from the former Mansfield Brewery. Some of this material featured in a temporary exhibition in the NBC during the summer, and it is now being cleaned and wrapped by a team of NADFAS volunteers (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies).
A major project the Trust has identified as its priority for the coming months is the development of an on-line, searchable catalogue of the archived material stored in the NBC (estimated to be in the region of 500,000 items). This project aligns with the Trust’s objectives of improving accessibility and increasing awareness of the archives. A number of options have been assessed and professional advice sought. Once we have decided on our preferred route, and have a feel for the likely costs, a project proposal will be put together with the intention of seeking grant funding.
The Trust continues to work closely with the National Brewery Centre and we are extremely grateful for the support they provide us. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow trustees for their support and guidance during the year.