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Part of the ‘Guinness Family’

I have donated this button in memory of my father. Dad worked for Guinness at the Park Royal Brewery in London from before my birth, in 1958, until his retirement at sixty-five in 1975.

Dad was the Head Chef and catered for all the brewery staff: brewers, porters, coopers, etc., the estate staff: groundsmen, stewards, dairy and pig farmers; and the executive directorship. When he retired it was estimated that he’d been responsible for the preparation and service of over 1,000,000 meals!

All staff were provided with at least one meal per day: breakfast for the night and early shifts, lunch for the day shift and ‘high tea’ for those working the twilight shift.

The pork and beef came from the company’s cattle and pigs, the milk from the large herd of dairy cows … all the food was of the highest quality.

Guinness employees and their families were extremely well looked after by the company, and along with many ‘perks and treats’ they were provided with all sorts of (branded) clothing, including blazers for the stewards.

This blazer button is brass with a glass domed front showing a kangaroo with a bottle of Guinness in its pouch and a glass of the ‘black and cream’ in its paw. It’s a little indistinct, but you have to bear in mind that Guinness was so widely advertised in many clever ways that even the suggestion of a bottle of Guinness was enough … your mind did the rest!

Every year there was a sports day for the children of employees with prizes for the race winners and a marvellous tea for everyone (no prizes for guessing who was responsible for this). The children were also taken out at Christmas time to see a pantomime or an ice show. They would return to the brewery where Father Christmas would give them a gift and my Dad would provide a super tea. Happy memories!

Colette Grantham