Former Biggleswade brewers reunite 21 years after Greene King closure

PUBLISHED: 14:21 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:21 26 October 2018

Former workers from Greene King's Biggleswade brewery met for a reunion last Saturday. Picture: Linda Butcher

Former workers from Greene King's Biggleswade brewery met for a reunion last Saturday. Picture: Linda Butcher

Archant

Former workers from the Greene King brewery in Biggleswade have reunited, 21 years after it closed.

A large group of ex-employees gathered at the Biggleswade Conservative Club on Saturday to catch up with old friends and reminisce about their time working for the brewers.

Bev Beddall, who worked in a number of roles at the brewery in Church Street, helped organise the reunion.

“I was persuaded by former colleagues to get this off the ground, as they thought I was the best person for the job,” she said.

“We were like one family and cared for each other.

“The unity was something we’ve never found since.”

While working for Greene King, Bev met her husband Mike – whose father and two brothers also worked there.

Greene King ran the brewery from 1961 until 1997, when it was closed as part of restructuring by the Bury St Edmunds-based company.

Bruce Odell – a former brew house operative – also helped organise the gathering.

His family have a long association with Greene King. Bruce’s mother and father worked for the brewers – as did his sister, uncle, three cousins and his now wife Sonia, who he met during his time working in Biggleswade.

Laura Roberts was among ex-employees who attended the reunion.

She said: “It was great to see old friends.”

Joan Dennis, who ran the staff canteen, echoed that sentiment, joking: “It was good to meet up and reminisce without serving umpteen cups of coffee.”

Order processor Sue Mauksh said: “It was lovely to look back on a very happy period of my life.”

Sue Sheppard worked alongside her.

“It was lovely to see old faces, I mean from a long time ago,” she said.

The site – now occupied by Asda – has a long history of beer production which predates Greene King’s operation by more than 300 years.

Originally opened in 1686, the brew house was purchased in 1764 by Samuel Wells.

It passed through his family, with the Wells and Winch brewing company owning the site and running 383 pubs by 1938. It remained in the family until Greene King took over in 1961.

To find out more about next year’s reunion search Greene King Biggleswade on Facebook.

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