The sands of time

Week 56

Good progress on writing this last few weeks, as the weather (today it is pouring slush) prevents practically anything else. Finished chapter 5 yesterday, bang on time, so that’s three-fifths of the book done – aside from the dreaded captions. So four shortish chapters to go, the first on power in the brewery, so that’s waterwheels, horses, steam engines and so on, and the cost thereof. So as the sands of time tick on towards the deadline, here’s a token from the Hour Glass (later City of London) Brewery, dating from 1869 and worth a quart. A learned friend tells me that these were probably used to give beer allowances to the workers, and that this particular token is pretty common. Even so, I feel it is quite something to have in my hand a token earned by one of the brewery’s workers back in the 19th century; by the look of it, he might have dropped it under a dray! The brewery itself was owned by Calvert’s for a while, and stood next to the site of Cannon Street Station, pretty much opposite Barclay Perkins Anchor Brewery on the south bank. It was destroyed by bombs in 1941. The Fitzwilliam Museum has a fine token from I & T Cloakes brewhouse at Tenterden in Kent in its collection; it shows part of the brewhouse, all louvre windows, and is dated 1796. Hope the snow disappears within ten days or so, else the chances of my getting to the British Library the weekend after next look rather slim. More news from the north next week.

hour glass token front

hour glass token back

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