Picture of 'The Parade Hotel', Southsea - still showing Brickwoods livery when this was taken in 1998

An export business was developed in the 1930s, but this was largely killed off by the Second World War. Sir John's son, Sir Rupert Redvers Brickwood, also became a Director - he served as a Squadron Leader in the RAF during the war. Portsmouth and Southampton were heavily bombed during the war, resulting in the need for rebuilding work afterwards. Harry died in 1950, the company entered into a significant agreement with Whitbread in 1951 to sell some of each others' products, and in 1953 Brickwoods acquired the second largest brewer in town - United. Domination was complete, and the company was renamed Brickwoods Ltd. in 1954.

Picture of 'The Festing' pub, also still 'Brickwoods' in 1998FOR LARGER PICTURES OF BRICKWOODS PUBS, CLICK HERE. and also follow this link to Rich Collins' Portsmouth Pubs site.

During the 1950s the challenges from London breweries increased: Brickwoods responded by extending the agreement with Whitbread in 1959, with two Whitbread nominated directors joining the board. Brickwoods now had two breweries and 836 pubs and off-licences in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and inland to the fringes of Surrey. They won a seven year contract to brew Whitbread Tankard in 1966.

Brickwoods eventually sold out to Whitbread (see more information about Whitbread PLC)- a company with profits ten times larger - for £15 million in 1971, becoming a part of Whitbread Wessex. Brickwood's Bitter continued to be brewed as Whitbread Trophy, and Brickwood's Best as 'Pompey Royal'. However the end was in sight: Sir Rupert died in 1974, bottling ended in 1981, and brewing ceased at the Portsmouth Brewery in 1983.

Click on the pump clip to see a newpaper article on the closure (pump clip and cutting courtesy of Ashley Shaw):

Link to article: Brickwood's pump clip

Some office functions continued until 1989, but in the 1990s most of the buildings on the site were demolished to provide a tourist car and coach park for the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. FOR A PICTURE OF THE END OF THE BREWERY, CLICK HERE.

For more information on the dock yard, click here.

So Brickwoods, and brewing, disappeared from Portsmouth - almost! The name alone still exists in some pub signs and windows in the town, see the 'Catalogue of Defunct Brewery Liveries' at the Brewery History Society site , in the hands of beermat, bottle, label and ash tray collectors worldwide, and in 'The Brickwood Trophy'!

And an internet search in 1999 revealed that at least one Brickwood has kept the family name brewing: a Bill Brickwood won first prize in the UK Strong category of the 1995 Canadian Amateur Brewers Association Homebrew Competition! Bill, an Information Designer in Toronto, got quite a surprise when he saw his achievement listed on this site in September 2001!

Little BrickyFor more published information on the history of Brickwoods Ales see 'The Portsmouth Papers' Number 38 (Public Houses & Beerhouses in 19th Century Portsmouth), Number 58 (The Demise of Demon Drink: Portsmouth Pubs 1900-1950), and Number 63 (Portsmouth Breweries Since 1847). These are sold by Portsmouth City Records Office, 3 Museum Road, Portsmouth PO1 2LE and the Central Library and Museums shops.

If you have further information or questions, please contact: brewery@brickwoods.co.uk