Jarman's Golden Ale Brewery

Keith Jacklin remembers Jarman's Brewery in Meldreth (audio)
Keith Jacklin remembers Jarman's Brewery in Meldreth (37 seconds)
A transcription of this audio clip as well as a photo of Keith can be found at the bottom of the page.
Jarman's Golden Ale Brewery ~1920
Robert H Clark postcard
Newspaper Advert confirming the Purity of Jarman's Beer
Cambridge Chronicle Mar 13 1891
Advert for Jarman's Invalid and A1 Stout
Herts & Cambs Reporter, Jan 3 1890
A sad end to Meldreth's brewer at only 33 years of age
Cambridge Chronicle April 19 1895
Jarmans were in the beer trade long before they started brewing. The 1841 census listed a John Jarman, aged 20 as a beer merchant. In 1845 John Jarman and his mother, Elizabeth, are selling their estate (this photo) although it is not known which pub is referred to in the article.
Cambridge Chronicle Mar 8 1845
A 'Jarman's Jar' used to carry beer to the home or fields
Jar Property of John Handscombe
Jarman's Jar
Property of 'Gilly' Gilham
JARMAN & CO GINGER BEER BOTTLE. 7ins tall, ch. t.t. 'JARMAN & CO/ MELDRETH CAMBS' village stocks scene pictured. Tiny insignificant inside rim flake, & 1 to base. Extremely rare. NR £120-150+.
Advertised for sale on BBRA Collectors Mart Auction website,Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October 2010
Meldreth Brewery Sale in 1926 Page 1 (CRO: 515 SP823)
Courtesy of Cambridge Record Office
Meldreth Brewery Sale in 1926 page 2 (CRO: 515 SP823)
Courtesy of Cambrdieg Record Office
Meldreth Brewery Sale in 1926 page 3 (CRO: 515 SP823)
Courtesy of The Cambridge Record Office
A1 Stout (Please see the comments section at the bottom of this page)
Photograph supplied by Nik Galton
Two of Irish Hot (Please see the comments section at the bottom of this page)
Photograph supplied by Nik Galton
Keith Jacklin pictured at MLHG Coffee Morning in 2007. You can hear his memories of the farm in the audio clip at the top of this page.
Photograph by Tim Gane


1847 – 64  The first evidence of maltings in Meldreth is in 1847 when John Burr was listed as a farmer & maltster and Joseph Scruby as a maltster.  John Burr occupied the Maltings in North End, opposite the Methodist Chapel and Joseph Scruby was most likely at the Maltings in The Mill, opposite The Gables. These two gentlemen continued in this profession until at least 1864.

1873  There was just one maltster in the village, William Blott.

1875  William Mortlock Waller (WMW) purchased the North End Maltings and he is listed in the 1875 Post Office Trade Directory as a brewer and maltster.  The Meldreth Brewery started around this time as a company called BREWITS partnered by WMW and Albert Jarman.   WMW was listed as a brewer and maltster in the 1879 Kelly’s Directory.

1885  WMW and Albert Jarman dissolved their partnership and Albert Jarman partnered with his father, John Jarman, to continue to run the brewery as Jarman and Co.

1888  Kelly’s Directory lists Albert Jarman as a brewer and Jarman & Co as brewers and maltsters.  Jarman’s Golden Ale Brewery was in existence by this time.

1895  Albert Jarman died in a horse riding accident

1913  Jarmans amalgamates with Worboys Cambridge Brewery to become Worboys and Jarman Ltd. (address: Sturton Brewery, 120 Sturton Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire) – see list of outlets below.

1915  Receiver appointed and partnership was dissolved in July 1923

1915  On July 23rd 1915 the brewery was occupied by brewers Barclay Perkins & Co who ceased brewing and used the premises solely for storage.  It was finally purchased by them in September 1920 for £5000.  The estate then consisted of the Meldreth Golden Ale Brewery, the Maltings in North End, Meldreth, several cottages in Meldreth and a number of other pubs in South Cambs (see below) including The Sailors Return in Meldreth.

19201926  In 1920, 1922 and 1926 attempts were made to sell the brewery and the associated yard and stables.  In all the adverts it was described as ‘the former brewery’.  By 1926 the price was just £500 with the option of breaking up the lots offered if it could not be sold as a whole.  It is not known if a sale did take place then, but the brewery and chimney were dismantled sometime after this date.  Documents advertising the sales can be seen at the Cambridgeshire Archives at the Cambridge Record Office [515 SP823, 515 SP621].

1938  The public houses held by Barclay, Perkins and Co (which included The Sailor’s Return) were sold to Wells and Winch Ltd

1955  Barclay & Perkins merged with John Courage which eventually became a branch of Scottish and Newcastle.

1961  Wells and Winch were acquired by Greene King & Sons Ltd


Five of the six Meldreth pubs were tied houses to the Royston Brewery and so the outlets for the Golden Ale Brewery were few and far between.  Although it stood next to The Green Man,  documents held in Greene King (Biggleswade) Archive [GK177/5] show that the brewery’s only outlet in Meldreth was The Sailors Return.

The full list of outlets owned by Worboys and Jarman’s Ltd for the sale of Jarman’s Ales shown in GK177/5 is as follows.

  • Anchor Inn, Melbourn
  • Black Horse, Guilden Morden
  • Coach & Horses, Harston
  • Cuckoo, Sandon
  • Plough, Little Shelford
  • Sailor’s Return, Meldreth
  • White Lion, Melbourn
  • Off-licence, 120 Sturton Street, Cambridge
  • Cooper’s Arms, Newmarket Road, Cambridge

Bill of Sale [CRO: 515 SP823] (see photos below) lists the equipment with-in the brewery.

Keith Jacklin’s Memories of the Brewery

Click play on the audio bar at the top of the page to hear Keith Jacklin talking about Jarman’s Brewery

When the brewery was actually working, I don’t remember it but my grandfather used to be the drayman and they always said that when he left there in the morning with his great big wagon, the horses and wagon with all the barrels on it to go round and deliver to the pubs, the brewery used to give him a gallon of beer to start with and he used to have one in every pub.  That’s where he got all his practice I think because he was, well, he enjoyed his work, but he enjoyed his beer as well!

(Transcription by Gloria Willers)

Comments about this page

  • I was researching A1 Stout, which I note is from your local brewery. I have two oil paintings on board in the naive style … one titled A1 Stout, the second Two of Irish Hot. My great grandfather was born near Biggleswade and I wonder if there is a link. No other A1 Stout really get a mention on the web!

    The family moved to west London where I grew up.

    (Photos of Nik’s two fascinating pictures can be seen above).

    By Nik Galton (30/10/2017)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *