International Society of Label Collectors & British Brewery Research

Seems possible that very few collectors are really interested in collecting these minor differences. There were several available tonight on a well-known internet auction site, with both variations listed and a lucky bidder picked up three or four for not much more than the postage cost.

I do know there is interest out there, one collector with a very extensive collection thanked me for publishing a pair of Southam’s SOS labels that he had not known about, and he picked up the missing variation very soon afterwards.

With regard to ‘Spot the difference’ #37; Massey’s Burnley Brewery, Keith has written in to tell us that ‘Masseys brewer and barrels trade mark registered 1885 and the owl trade mark registered in 1937. It’s possible owl was in use before 1937 but can’t say for sure.’

Many thanks for that. You can find the labels at

To keep you going here are two Wards No. 1 Strong Ale labels with a number of minor differences.

Ward Foxearth

Many thanks to Geoff for providing images of his entire collection of Amey’s labels. An extensive set which we are preparing you for, with this ‘Spot the difference’ trio. Another blog post tomorrow and the entire set will appear in our featured brewery section this weekend. Annoyingly, I don’t have any of these in my collection.

Amey spot the difference.bmp

Perhaps the most satisfying part of all this is the chance to add to the sum of knowledge about the labels that were issued 60 or 70 years ago. These two Norman and Pring labels are completely different designs and the one on the left is earlier than that on the right. No mention of Norman & Pring on either label. The right hand example is the same design as one of the two Oatmeal Stout labels from yesterday. The question is ‘Are there others in either of these two designs??’ And could we have scans if there are? And that means you!

Norman & Pring 3

A couple of responses to Tuesday’s Spot the difference. Followers are asking about the differences in Norman & Pring labels and whether they are similar to that in the blog. The small Imperial labels have only that difference as far as we know, but the pint labels have at least 3 variations. To show you what I mean, here are two pint Oatmeal Stout labels, 84mm tall this time.

Norman & pring 2

It has been a tough couple of weeks workwise, so apologies for the speed with which we are adding to the site. There are many variations of the labels from the City Brewery in Exeter. It would be good to try to catalogue them all at some time in the future, but in the meantime to whet your appetite, here are two half pint Imperial labels, 69mm tall. I remember studying the image of the label on the right to see exactly the difference(s) before I invested the £1 on a purchase.

Norman & Pring

Almost all collectors would not look twice at a Pale Ale label from Wadworths of Devizes. In meetings you couldn’t get anyone to part with 10p for a pile of 100. Few would even look once at the label if it appeared on an internet auction site. So why did I examine one in a packet of labels that arrived in the post this morning. Can you see why?


Some good feedback on the Northampton labels, thank you. Sadly we have received no answers to any of our questions yet. Here are two more of their labels. Unusually the ‘Trade Mark’ label is the earlier one and dates from the 1930s and the other is the post war variation. It would be nice to hear from anyone who could confirm those dates but from past experience this is unlikely to happen.

Northampton 3

Another set of images sent in by Steve B. This pair of labels from George Beer & Rigden of Faversham, which are not too challenging to see, and a bunch of other labels from breweries in Kent. These will go up in the next few hours and include lovely examples from the West Kent Brewery and George Beer from Steve and also Jude, Hanbury & Co of both Wateringbury and Canterbury courtesy of Mike J. I am very envious.

George Beer & Rigden

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