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Tangier Bridge c 1905

Tangier Bridge c 1905 Taunton Somerset

One of my favourite Taunton views, which again I have coloured. The posters advertise Taunton Dog Show and The Great Labour Meeting. In the background is what remained then of Tangier Brewery.

This and the Mary Street Brewery were owned by the Oram family in the 1870s. Part of the Mary Street brewery next to Selwoods Antiques still appears to exist.

William Ellis Oram senior ran The Four Alls pub in Taunton in the 1850s. He went into partnersip with the Hewett family around 1859 to run The Tangier Brewery. William’s daughter Eliza married into the Hewett family and ran The Four Alls from 1880 to 1899. William Ellis Oram senior died in 1860 and shortly after his sons William Ellis junior and George Ellis established Oram and Co. Tangier Family Brewery Company. They produced Bitter Ale, Tonic Ale, Family Ale, Stout and Porter. An adjoining aerated water manufactory produced Soda Water, Lemonade, Seltzer water and Ginger Beer. Some of these products were sold in skittle shaped amber bottles. One carried the Taunton rebus of a T (Tau) and a barrel (Tun).

George Ellis Oram left the family business at Tangier in 1870 to establish his own business at Mary Street. He used the same amber bottles as those at Tangier as well as a ‘Hamilton’ style bottle embossed ‘G.E. Oram. Aerated Water Manufactory by Steam Power, Mary Street Taunton’. The Tangier and Mary Street businesses run by the two brothers ran in tandem. It’s not known if they were actually in competition. Both businesses closed in 1879. The Tangier Brewery was sold to a Captain Hoskyn who renamed the business as The Tangier Brewery Co. There are no directory entries for the company after 1883 so that it seems brewing at Tangier stopped in 1882. Mary Street Brewery was sold in 1879 to A.A. H. Inglefield who had intended to remodel the premises to continue making ales and aerated waters. This venture appears to have failed in 1882 as Inglefield moved to Canon Street Brewery trading as Inglefield, Hanbury and Co. This lasted just a few months with the company becoming Hanbury and Co. later in 1882. Hanbury and Co became Hanbury and Cotching in 1895 continuing at Canon Street until the early 1920s.

Oh, the amber Oram bottles… quite a collectors item now… if anyone has one?

By Nick Chipchase

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