Plaque remembers Lacons Brewery site

MEMORIES of Great Yarmouth's premier brewery bubbled to the surface on Wednesday as a blue plaque was unveiled at the former site of the Lacons Brewery.

MEMORIES of Great Yarmouth's premier brewery bubbled to the surface on Wednesday as a blue plaque was unveiled at the former site of the Lacons Brewery.

For more than 360 years the brewery, at what is now the Palace Casino, delighted countless beer and ale lovers with a vast array of delicious brews.

At its height the brewery, which become known as Lacons from 1760, controlled 300 pubs and employed 150 workers and made Yarmouth a top destination for beer lovers.

Yesterday the plaque on the casino in Church Plain was unveiled in front of ex-brewery workers and civic dignitaries, including former Lacon's head brewer and board member and sheriff of Yarmouth Michael Falcon.


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During a speech Mr Falcon recalled how during a German bombing raid in 1942 firemen decided to rush to the brewery to save it from the ravaging flames while other buildings burnt, including St Nicholas Church.

He also recounted how he used to pose as a drinker to quiz bar staff on how well Lacons sales were going - with one young barman in Yarmouth's Golfers Arms telling him he thought the drinks tasted awful.

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Also in the crowd was Henry Hodds who worked for Lacons for more than 40 years in various posts, including its wine and spirits store. The 89-year-old year also met his wife Queenie while he worked there.

He said: “I have good memories of working here. Whenever people visited the brewery they always said they preferred its beers to others.”

The first record of a brewery in Church Plain is of one owned by Jeffery Ward in 1640. In 1760 it became Mr Laycon's Brewery - named after John Laycon who had married into the Ward family.

The brewery remained in the Lacon family until 1965, when it was taken over by Whitbread. It made its last beer in 1968.

William Lacon also attended the ceremony to remember his family's long links to the brewery and town.

He said: “It is nice to see so many people here today. My only regret sadly is that I never had a pint of Lacons - everyone has told me how lovely they were.”

The event was organised by the Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society and is the fourth plaque unveiled by the society this year celebrating Yarmouth's rich history - which includes one at the former Mercury offices in Regent Street marking the base of the forerunner of the RAF during the first world war.

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