The Lane Brothers
The two Lane brothers involved with the business, John and James, were sons of Thomas and Mary Ann Lane.
They led very different lives. John was the driving force behind the business, at least initially, and his is a most interesting story but before we get to him here is a bit of family history.
Thomas Lane (1811 ─ 1882) married Mary Ann Spiers (1816 ─ ?) in Mar qtr 1844 and they had:
John in 1844.
William Sievell in 1847.
Emily Augusta in 1848.
Edward Thomas in 1850.
Mary Ann in 1852.
James in 1858.
Baptism records show that Thomas was a cider merchant in the Homend in 1844, when John, William, Emily and Edward were born and a maltster in 1852 when Mary Ann was born. By the time James was born in 1858 Thomas is a farmer in Baynham Farm on the Hereford Road out of Ledbury.
Emily married Richard South of Upper Mitchell in 1860, Mary Ann married William Hale of Milcombe (Oxfordshire) in 1873.
William Sievell (Lane), a farmer and landowner in Woolhope in 1871, married Elizabeth Ockey in 1870. In 'The Farm' Bosbury in 1881, still here in 1911. Presumed not to be a partner in the business.
Edward is with his father in 1881, married Laura Webb in 1885 and is the farmer in Baynham, the family home, in 1891. Moves to 'The Old Court Farm' Bosbury by 1901, still here in 1911. Again presumed not to be a partner in the business.
James Lane (1858 ─ 1916) is, of course, with his parents in 1871 and in 1881 is in 'The Farm' Bosbury with his brother William. I can't find him in 1891, but in 1901 he is a farmer, unmarried at 'The Hill' Bishops Frome.
He married Catherine Mabel Skittery (1875 ─ ?), a daughter of William and Susannah Skilling of 'The Flights' Little Marcle, in Barnstaple in 1906, and they had one son, William Thomas Skilling (Lane) in 1909 at Bishops Frome, William Thomas died in 1956.
James died in 1916.
This notice tells us he was a partner in Lane Bros and Bastow.
Still with his father at Baynham Farm in 1861 as a Farmers son, I can't find him in 1871 but in
1873 he married Frances Quainton, b 1848, in Aylesbury.
Back in Ledbury they had Thomas Sydney in 1874 and Ada Frances in 1876 baptism records showing their address as New St and their father's occupation as Brewer.
In the 1881 census the family are still listed in New St where John is described as Brewer & Maltster employing 11 men and 1 boy. Frances even has a governess, Florence Hunter 20, to help her with her two children.
From the Hereford Times April 8th 1882.
CIDER AND PERRY STORES,
NEW STREET, LEDBURY, MARCH 1881.
ALLOW me to submit to your notice the accompanying prices of Cider and Perry;
1881 vintage is far superior to any that has been in the market for several years and I confidently recommend it for ordinary daily use or laying down in bottle. The richness and purity of this highly famed delicious English beverage deserve to be
more widely known to ensure a greater consumption amongst consumers of light drinks; and the comparatively low prices at which I am prepared to supply it will, I trust, secure a share of the patronage for the coming season.
Both the Cider and Perry are ready for immediate delivery, and can be supplied in casks of 28 gallons and upwards also in quart and pint bottles delivered free on rail at Ledbury.
In consequence of the cheapness of fruit in 1881, a great quantity was made into Cider and Perry, as the fruit would not realise remunerative price to send it to the far markets, the carriage being very expensive.
In making Cider, with very few exceptions, the fruit is blended, and therefore sold as such but I submit samples of Perry of various growths, such as Oldfield, Barland, Moorcroft, Red Pear, &c., in its entire purity, to be supplied in quantities above named.
Five per cent discount for prompt cash.
Casks, bottles and cases charged for but allowed for if returned in good condition, carriage paid.
CIDER or PERRY, 1s 3d. per Gallon.
CIDER or PERRY Quart bottles 10s 6d per dozen.
CIDER or PERRY Pint bottles 6s per dozen.
In March of 1884 he is appointed as a 'Waywarden' at a Parish Meeting showing, you would have thought, he was well settled into parish life in Ledbury but it all seems to go wrong!
From the Worcester Journal November 8th 1884:
Yesterday evening a complimentary dinner to Mr. John Lane, has for the past eleven years successfully carried out the business of a brewer and maltster at the Vine Brewery, Ledbury, but who has lately disposed of the business, and left the town to carry on the business of a brick and tile manufacturer, at Southhampton, took place at the Feathers Hotel. The dinner was excellently served by Mr. and Mrs. Shugar.
About fifty sat down, amongst whom we noticed Mr G. H. Piper (in the chair). Mr. Edward Maddison (in the vice chair), Mr. John Lane, Captain J. R Smith Dr. Griffin Messrs. T. Lane, R. Holmes, J. Garood, J. Mutlow, J. South, J. P. Shugar, C. W. Stephen, F Burden, L Tilley, &c.
Whether he did take up the brickworks challenge is not known but by 1891 Frances is in Tintern House, Abbey Road, Great Malvern as a Boarding House Proprietor with the children Thomas and Ada. John is manager of the nearby Belvoir Hotel.
Later censuses show John never lived with Frances but was never far from her!
Daughter Ada Frances married Charles Bridgwater, a boot retailer from Malvern, in Barnet in 1899 and they settled in 'St. Aubyns' Cowleigh Malvern with their daughters, Joyce, b 1901 and Frances Violet b 1903.
Ada's marriage place suggests that her mother, Frances, must have moved from Malvern to Barnet between 1891 and 1899 and indeed she can be found there on the 1901 census as a Butcher with son Thomas, b Ledbury 1875, as a Butcher's manager.
In this census John is a boarder at 11 Euston Road St. Pancras as a "Traveller for substitute for coal".
In 1911 Frances Lane, now 62 and living in No 10
High St North Finchley (Barnet) still a butcher, she says she is married but the enumerator adds 'husband away'.
Son Thomas is living here as a partner in the business with his wife Daisy and one daughter.
John may be 'away' but he is not far away he is in one room at No 14
High St North Finchley as a Butcher's Assistant!
John died in 1914, Frances in 1927 both in Barnet.
The Bastow Connection.
With Charles Bastow at the helm the business prospered as I will show but first a bit about his life.
Charles Herbert Bastow was born in Yorkshire in 1861 to Benjamin and Olive.
The 1871 census shows that Benjamin, b 1835, was a Commercial Traveller (Brewer) and in 1881 Charles, now 20, is in the family home in Leeds as a Maltster.
They were obviously both in what is now called the Licensed Trade.
Benjamin and Charles were both in Ledbury before 1887 as they were present at the public opening of the New Market on July 12th of that year and also from the Gloucestershire Chronicle October 1st 1887:
On Sept 20th 1887, at the parish church, Market Drayton. Charles Herbert Bastow, of Ledbury, married Frances, youngest daughter of of the late Mr R Pearce of Market Drayton.
Unsuprisingly Frances came from a family of brewers. She was born in Addersley, Shropshire, in 1857 to Richard, a Maltster & Brewer, and Sarah.
Charles and Frances had had one son, Herbert Norman, in Ledbury in May 1891, he died in June 1901.
Charles, listed as Brewer Manager, and Frances are living next door to the Talbot, (and 3 doors from the Vine Tap) in 1891. In both the 1901 and 1911 censuses, Charles is listed as a Brewer, Wine & Spirit Merchant, and living in 'The Vine House' a large house down the side of the Talbot which I believe is the same house as in 1891. Frances died in Ledbury in 1912.
Here until 1923 (after which M. Henderson is in 'The Vine House'), Charles moved to 'Roadside' Cleeve Hill Cheltenham and died, while playing golf, on December 15th 1929 leaving £16,000 (close to a million today).
The Vine Brewery
As a 'Commercial Traveller (Brewer)' Benjamin would have known what businesses were up for sale and it has to be no coincidence that he and his son Charles appear in Ledbury in 1887 not long after the Vine Brewery and associated buildings were sold.
Charles' father Benjamin is living in 'The Steppes' in New Street in the 1891 census, described as an auctioneer, there being several references to him as such in the newspapers, notably this one from the Worcester Journal of January 8th 1887
This sale was before the official opening in July
His wife, (Charles' mother), Olive, died in Dec 1891 at The Steppes.
We know, from the complimentary dinner report shown above, that John Lane left the district in 1884 having 'disposed of the business'. What exactly is meant by that remains unclear but later reports suggest he did not sell the properties, perhaps just the business.
From the Worcester Journal October 25th 1884:
At an auction sale on October 28th 1884, auctioneers Gilbert and Son (having sold the Vine Brewery) were instructed by Mr John Lane to dispose of a portion of the furniture at 'The Steppes'. i.e. he owned it.
This report of a fire at the Brewery in February 1886, from the Worcestershire Chronicle February 20th 1886, suggests a Mr Hall was the business owner and it may have been this fire which precipitated the sale in December 1886 of all these properties.
From the Worcester Journal November 20th 1886:
LOMAX, SONS, AND MILLS.
WILL SELL BY AUCTION,
At the Feathers Hotel, High street, Ledbury, on Thursday the 9th of December, 1886, at Two for Three o'clock,
IN the following or such other Lots as may be determined upon:
LOT 1. The VINE BREWERY, in New street, Ledbury, the adjoining Beerhouse, called the Vine Tap, and the adjacent Dwelling house, called Vine Villa.
LOT 2. TWO SHOPS, in New-street, Ledbury, occupied by Henry Poytress and Frederick Morgan.
LOT 3. The RESIDENCE, known as The Steppes, in New street, Ledbury.
LOT 4. The Full licensed PUBLIC HOUSE, called the Plough Inn, in Homend Street, Ledbury.
LOT 5. The Full licensed PUBLIC HOUSE, known as the White Lion Inn, in Bye street, Ledbury.
LOT 6. The Full licensed PUBLIC HOUSE, known as "No. 7," in High street, Ledbury.
LOT 7. The BEERHOUSE, called the Prince of Wales, in Church street, Ledbury.
LOT 8. The BEERHOUSE, called the Royal Oak Inn, Colwall.
LOT 9. The Full licensed PUBLIC HOUSE, known as the Royal Oak Inn, in the Square, Newent.
LOT 10. The Full licensed PUBLIC HOUSE, called the British Camp Inn, situate at Winds Point, Colwall.
LOT 11. The BEERHOUSE, called the New Inn, situate at the junction of Mitcheldean and Ross and Newent Roads, Gorsley.
LOT 12. The BEERHOUSE known as the Cavalry Arms, situate in Pool End street, Great Malvern and Two adjoining DWELLING HOUSES, called Walnut Tree Cottages and a POLICY of INSURANCE for £300 in the Law Union Insurance Company.
LOT 13. A MOIETY or other SHARE of and in Old Crown Inn, in Old street, Upton-on-Severn.
I don't believe all these associated properties happened to come on the market at the same time but owned by different people! Surely they were one individual selling up and I have shown that John Lane owned The Steppes earlier so I believe it is he selling them.
The sale of the business then the furniture then the properties suggest he was in regular need of money but had little to show for it later in life. His wife, Frances, describes herself as 'Boarding House Proprietor' in 1891 but John never seems to own anything again!
We know that Benjamin Bastow is in 'The Steppes' in 1891 and that Charles Bastow's name is linked to the Vine Brewery, in the same year I believe he is living in what the auctioneer describes as Vine Villa.
I am not suggesting the Bastows bought all of the properties but certainly the main ones linked to The Brewery.
Later newspaper reports give an indication of some of the public houses owned or controlled by the Vine Brewery.
1891 The White Lion1
1894 The Glass House Taynton2
1899 The Hop Pole Leominster3
1899 The Seven Stars4
1904 The Horse Shoe Brands Green5
1907 The Plough Hotel Ledbury6
1910 The Red Lion Monkland Leominster7
1915 The Anchor Newent8
1   From the Hereford Times September 9th 1899
Charles H Bastow (member of the firm of Lane Bros. And Bastow) said there were now two exits from the house into Bye Street..The firm came into the possession of the house eight years ago.
2   From Gloucester Citizen September 17th 1894.
The Glass House Inn Taynton. With possession on September 29th : Apply Lane bros and Bastow Vine Brewery Ledbury.
3   From the Hereford Times October 14th 1899
The Hop Pole Inn.
Mr C H Bastow of the firm of Messrs Lane Bros and Bastow, of Ledbury, applied for a temporary transfer of the license of the Hop Pole Inn to himself from the outgoing tenant, Mr C H W Phillips. He informed the Bench that his company intended to place a manager in the house which would be used more as a store for distributing to the Company's other houses in the district. The application was granted.
4   From the Worcestershire Chronicle August 5th 1899.
Mr Manton also offered for sale the Seven Stars, in Homend street, one of the oldest public houses in the town. Although the house is comparatively small it was knocked down at the high price of £1,850, being bought by Messrs. Lane Bros and Bastow, brewers, Ledbury.
5   From the Gloucester Citizen March 4th 1904.
The question of the Horse Shoe Beerhouse, Brandsgreen again came on (the agenda) it having been adjourned so that the owners Messrs. Lane Bros and Bastow for whom Mr H Croome, solicitor, Ledbury, appeared might produce satisfactory plans of the proposed alterations, and also prove that the licence had been granted previous to 1869. James Wilkins and Richard Whale now stated that the licence was granted in 1866. The licence was granted subject to the proposed alterations being carried out.
6   From the Gloucester Journal July 6th 1907
To Let. The Plough Hotel with early possession : Lane Bros and Bastow Vine Brewery Ledbury
7   From the Hereford Times October 29th 1910.
On Tuesday at 3.30 a.m. an alarm of fire was given at Leominster Police Station The outbreak was at the Red Lion Monkland, the property of Messrs Lane Bros and Bastow brewers of Ledbury.
8   From the Gloucester Journal March 7th 1914 Application for licences.
Mr. Harrison said the Anchor Inn, near the G.W.R. Station, was 250 yards from the New Inn. 120 yards from the King's Arms. 505 yards from the Plough, and about 416 yards from the Red Lion. Mr. Orme. Ledbury appeared for the owners (Messrs. Lane Bros, and Bastow). Sergt. Clutterbuck said for the trade done the house was not wanted. The licensee had to go to work every day. and it was a dangerous place to leave horses and wagons.
The licence was refused.
From the Gloucester Journal October 23rd 1915 Compensation given:
Anchor Newent: James Goodway (licensee) £85; Lane Bros. and Bastow (owners) £415.
Then from The Ledbury Guardian June 7th 1918:
Local Business Change:
It is announced that the Cheltenham Original Brewery Co. Ltd. Has purchased the business of Messrs. Lane Bros. and Bastow that has owned the Vine Brewery Ledbury for many years, and that Mr C H Bastow is joining the Board of the Cheltenham Brewery.
A Vine Brewery dray making its way up the High St.