The London beer flood October 1814

breweryNo this is not a Carlsberg ad.”Carlsberg don’t do floods but if they did”

On Monday 17th October 1814, a terrible disaster claimed the lives of at least 8 people in St Giles, London. A bizarre industrial accident resulted in the release of a beer tsunami onto the streets around Tottenham Court Road.

The Horse Shoe Brewery stood at the corner of Great Russell Street and Tottenham Court Road. In 1810 the brewery, Meux and Company, had had a 22 foot high wooden fermentation tank installed on the premises. Held together with massive iron rings, this huge vat held the equivalent of over 3,500 barrels of brown porter ale, a beer not unlike stout.

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On the afternoon of October 17th 1814 one of the iron rings around the tank snapped. About an hour later the whole tank ruptured, releasing the hot fermenting ale with such force that the back wall of the brewery collapsed. The force also blasted open several more vats, adding their contents to the flood which now burst forth onto the street. More than 320,000 gallons of beer were released into the area. This was St Giles Rookery, a densely populated London slum of cheap housing and tenements inhabited by the poor, the destitute, prostitutes and criminals.

The flood reached George Street and New Street within minutes, swamping them with a tide of alcohol. The 15 foot high wave of beer and debris inundated the basements of two houses, causing them to collapse. In one of the houses, Mary Banfield and her daughter Hannah were taking tea when the flood hit; both were killed.

In the basement of the other house, an Irish wake was being held for a 2 year old boy who had died the previous day. The four mourners were all killed. The wave also took out the wall of the Tavistock Arms pub, trapping the teenage barmaid Eleanor Cooper in the rubble. In all, eight people were killed. Three brewery workers were rescued from the waist-high flood and another was pulled alive from the rubble.

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All this ‘free’ beer led to hundreds of people scooping up the liquid in whatever containers they could. Some resorted to just drinking it, leading to reports of the death of a ninth victim some days later from alcoholic poisoning.

‘The bursting of the brew-house walls, and the fall of heavy timber, materially contributed to aggravate the mischief, by forcing the roofs and walls of the adjoining houses.‘ The Times, 19th October 1814.

Some relatives exhibited the corpses of the victims for money. In one house, the macabre exhibition resulted in the collapse of the floor under the weight of all the visitors, plunging everyone waist-high into a beer-flooded cellar.

The stench of beer in the area persisted for months afterwards.

The brewery was taken to court over the accident but the disaster was ruled to be an Act of God, leaving no one responsible.

The flood cost the brewery around £23000 (approx. £1.25 million today). However the company were able to reclaim the excise duty paid on the beer, which saved them from bankruptcy. They were also granted ₤7,250 (₤400,000 today) as compensation for the barrels of lost beer.

Eventually, Meux’s Horse Shoe Brewery went to court over the incident where they were found innocent. The brewery’s flood, the judge said, was nothing more than an “Act of God.

This unique disaster was responsible for the gradual phasing out of wooden fermentation casks to be replaced by lined concrete vats. The Horse Shoe Brewery was demolished in 1922; the Dominion Theatre now sits partly on its site.

Now I don’t have a choice but of I did this would be the way to go

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Michael Jackson-What’s in a name?

I am deviating a bit from my regular blogs for this more quirky and lighthearted blog.Living in an English speaking country my name is quite unique so my name is automatically associated to only me(at least where I live) , but the name Michael Jackson is fairly common and yet it is only associated with one man.

However there are several men who carry the same name and are famous(sometimes infamous) in their respective professions.

Starting off with that one man, the most famous of them all.

Michael Jackson: American singer-songwriter, dancer and record producer.

Called the “King of Pop”,his contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

The eighth child of the Jackson family (one of whom died in infancy), Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5.

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He began his solo career in 1971. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Jackson’s 1987 album Bad spawned the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”, becoming the first album to have five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

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He continued to innovate with videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” throughout the 1990s, and forged a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous artists of various music genres.Sadly he died on June 25 ,2009.

Michael Jackson is a UK male singer who was lead vocalist with the heavy metal band Satan/Pariah

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This is Michael Jackson is also a singer but from the complete opposite spectrum of the music industry. As the name of his band suggests it is not as clean cut as the other singer with the same name.

Michael was born in Lancaster, Lancashire in 1964 to Estelle & Michael Jackson. He was brought up by his mother in Morecambe, Lancashire from an early age. A fanatical Queen fan Michael Jackson dreamed of being a rock singer like his idol Freddie Mercury.

Entering the Merchant Navy straight from school Michael spent 5 years sailing all over the world while singing with the band Rough Edge between assignments. Eventually he decided to answer an advertisement, learned the required songs and traveled to London for his audition with the band Satan. After a successful interview at Clink Studios, Tower Bridge, London Michael moved there to join Satan.

General Sir Michael  Jackson,GCB, CBE, DSO, DL (born 21 March 1944)

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A retired British Army officer and one of its most high-profile generals since the Second World War. Originally commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in 1963, he transferred to the Parachute Regiment in 1970, with which he served two of his three tours of duty in Northern Ireland. On his first, he was present as an adjutant at the events of Bloody Sunday (1972), when soldiers opened fire on protesters, killing 13 people.

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On his second, he was a company commander in the aftermath of the Warrenpoint ambush (1979), the British Army’s heaviest single loss of life during the Troubles. He was assigned to a staff post at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1982 before assuming command of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, in 1984. Jackson was posted to Northern Ireland for the third time, as a brigade commander, in the early 1990s.

Michael  Jackson (born 24 May 1956) is the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough since 2011.

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Jackson was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, the son of Church of Ireland rector (latterly appointed Archdeacon of Elphin & Ardagh), and educated at Ballinamallard Primary School and Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. Trinity College, Dublin, before going on to do postgraduate studies at Cambridge University. He is married to Inez Cooke, a medical doctor who was born in County Fermanagh, and they have one daughter, Camilla.

Michael  Jackson (27 March 1942 – 30 August 2007) was an English writer and journalist.

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He was the author of many influential books about beer and whiskey. He was a regular contributor to a number of British broadsheets, particularly The Independent and The Observer.

Jackson’s books have sold over three million copies worldwide and have been translated into eighteen different languages.He is credited with helping to start a renaissance of interest in beer and breweries worldwide in the 1970s, particularly in the United States.He is also widely credited with popularising the idea of beer styles.His influential television series The Beer Hunter was shown in fifteen different countries.

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He was as equally versed in the world of malt whisky as well as beer, and his book, Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion (1989) is the best-selling book on the subject in the world.

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At the time of his death Jackson had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for at least a decade. He did not declare his illness until his symptoms caused some to think he was drunk.Any beer enthusiast, like me will know his books on beer.

 

Finishing up with a song from the most famous of all Michael Jacksons, Michael Jackson.