29 Apr. 2014: Supplying the beer to the tied houses
On Tuesday 29 April 2014 Margaret Bird will give a talk to the Blakeney Area Historical Society (details below) on the lives of Norfolk draymen as recorded by Mary Hardy and her diarist nephew Henry Raven.
Entitled ‘Supplying the beer: Life on the road in 18th-century Norfolk‘, it will show the great variety of challenges faced by the men. They covered huge distances. The Burnham Market inn featured at the banner lay 17 miles from the brewery: a weary journey with a laden beer cart or wagon. A severe accident befell one drayman on a delivery to the Pitt’s Arms, as the Hoste was then known.
Dismissal after lingering too long
Robert Manning, the Hardys’ hardworking farm servant, lingered too long over a beer delivery. While his master William Hardy was away in May 1775 Manning and the independently-minded maltster William Frary spent ten hours re-supplying a Worstead outlet only five miles from the brewery.
After further problems Manning was dismissed on the spot a week later. Labour discipline was strict. Both William and Mary Hardy watched the clock when it came to managing the farm servants and maidservants.
Seeing public-house life from the other side
One member of the Hardys’ workforce, John Hurrell (d.1792 aged 44), served as a full-time farm servant and maltster soon after the diarist’s family moved to their Letheringsett brewery.
A few years later he was dealing with draymen as an innkeeper, at the King’s Arms near the quay at Blakeney. There he hosted masonic meetings, one of the lodges having fallen out with their hosts in Norwich and deciding in 1787, at massive inconvenience, to move to the small port 25 miles away.
All are welcome
The Blakeney Area Historical Society meeting will be at 7.30 pm in the Harbour Room of the British Legion Hall at 139–141 High Street, Blakeney NR25 7NU. A small charge (£2 for members of the society, £3 for visitors) covers expenses and refreshments. Car parking is free at the Hall.