my memoirs: uxbridge

Harman's Brewery

or 'les toits d'Uxbridge' as in my illustration
Harman's Brewery
a long time ago ... back in the mid 1950s when I was a child ... Uxbridge was described in the gazetteer of Pear's Cyclopedia as a market town ... and in essence it stayed like that until one day in the early 1960s the town planners and the local politicians decided the town should be obliterated ... and so it came to pass that, bit by bit, the oldest parts of the town disappeared ... the town had many old industries including a steam laundry, a maltings, a brewery, a corn chandlers, coaching inns and Harman's Brewery, which was smack bang in the middle of the High Street ... it was one of the first businesses to be closed and demolished in the early 1960s ... I was at St Martin's art school at the time, in Charing Cross Road, and one holiday I went into the derelict brewery and did a number of sketches ... this one was looking out of a window down onto the narrow yard that ran from the High Street alongside the brewery … I found myself at one point in what must have been the bottling room, for there were beer bottle labels everywhere … they must have been preparing to sell their own bottled lager for there were lots of labels with a picture of a snow-capped peak against an icy pale blue sky and the name 'Summit' across the peak
… then I noticed that there were lots of these labels with exactly the same picture but with a different name across the peak - 'Climaxe'
… they had obviously decided not to use that one for some reason, I can't imagine why