Newton and Ridley

Newton and Ridley sign

The Newton and Ridley Brewery (formerly Newton, Ridley and Oakes) was established in Weatherfield in 1781. During the 19th century, Newton and Ridley expanded its operations, moving towards the acquisition and construction of new public houses.

There is a pub crawl called the Weatherfield 7.


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The Stag Brewery: Fairhurst and OakesEdit

In 1781, William Fairhurst formed The Stag Brewery in Weatherfield. Fairhurst had trained as a maltster in a few London breweries and was very experienced. He moved to Manchester, looking for a place to start his own business. In less than a decade, Manchester's population had grown largely and the favourite drink of every man, woman and even the children was beer. The average family spent more on beef than on any household item. Fairhurst had fascinated local businessman Fairley Oakes in his plans to introduce high quality ale to working men. They built the brewery on Bridgegate Street, (now Albert Road). Whilst working in London, Fairhurst had worked with something called saccharometers, the latest technology at the time for measuring the strength of beer, and he introduced this machine at his own brewery - the first of the brewers to do that. With Oakes' experience in mill work and Fairhurst's knowledge and expertise, the pair made quite a team and The Stag Brewery formed a great reputation for producing high quality beer at reasonable prices.

The Stag Brewery: OakesEdit

Fairhurst died in 1824, leaving his share of the successful brewery to his partner, Fairley Oakes, as he had no family of his own. Oakes, in his late sixties, employed his son Samuel as his new partner and gave him the day-to-day running of the business. The brewery industry was changing dramatically - new systems and machinery massively increased beer production. Also, beer duty was abolished in 1830, giving an extra boost to sales as home brews dropped. In 1848, The Stag Inn on Bridgegate Street was the very first ale house to be built by the brewery. That same year, Fairley Oakes died and Samuel Oakes took control of the brewery, making his 18-year-old son Percival his new business partner. Two years later the brewery expanded and its second house, The Flying Dutchman, (later renamed The Flying Horse), was opened.

(This is taken from Daran Little's Life And Times At The Rovers Return.)

In later years the head office of the brewery was situated on Irlam Road.


The Rovers Return InnEdit

In 1902 Newton & Ridley acquired the freehold to the newly built public house on Coronation Street. The pub was named "The Rovers Return Inn" and is the principal meeting place in Coronation Street. Although the house is no longer owned by Newton and Ridley, the brewery's products are still available.

The Flying HorseEdit

In 1850 Newton and Ridley opened "The Flying Dutchman" at the corner of Jubilee Terrace. The name was changed in 1905 to "The Flying Horse" for patriotic reasons. Until around 1985, The Flying Horse was the biggest rival pub to the "Rovers Return", with the regulars from both houses clashing in many friendly contests such as a tug-of-war in 1967, mixed football in 1969 and pub Olympics in 1984. The pub, being nearest geographically to the Rovers, was its strongest rival and often took in Rovers customers who either fancied a change or found themselves barred or boycotting their usual haunt.

The pub was reintroduced in 2009, however it is now filled with dodgy characters.

The Laughing DonkeyEdit

"The Laughing Donkey" can be found on Omdurman Street, overlooking North Cross Park. It was the stronghold of Nellie Harvey (Mollie Sugden), acquaintance and nemesis of Rovers Return landlady, Annie Walker.

The QueensEdit

"The Queens" was built in 1931 and its situated towards the 'trendy' Weatherfield Quays, south of Weatherfield. The pub was introduced to Coronation Street in 1993, seeing current Rovers landlady Liz McDonald installed as landlady by Newton and Ridley.

The Weatherfield ArmsEdit

Another rival to the Rovers Return, "The Weatherfield Arms", appeared around 2003. The location of the pub is unknown. Liz McDonald was the manager for a while here after she lost her job at the Rovers Return. Other Coronation Street residents such as Bev Unwin and Cilla Battersby-Brown have been employed here.

The White SwanEdit

Stella Rigby ruled over "The White Swan" at much the same time as Bet Gilroy was landlady of the Rovers. Stella, although a very different character to Annie Walker, had much the same aspirations of class and thought her pub to be very much up-market compared to the Rovers.

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