Harry Bateman

I entered the Brewery after leaving school in 1894 and took over the business in 1921 upon the death of my father. In the 1920's and 30's it was very depressed times for beer consumption due to strict regulations imposed during the First World War and severe taxes.

At one point there was such a slump in beer sales that I had to lay off my entire work force. However, I was so upset at seeing them wandering round Wainfleet with nothing to do that I invited them back and was determined to find them work in the Brewery somehow.

Having made this move I decided I had no choice but to increase the size of the Brewery so bought the buildings across the lane from Salem House and installed a bottling plant.

With these buildings there was also a windmill, which had been used for grinding corn for bread and horse feed. Unfortunately the sails were in such desperate need of repair that I decided it was cheaper to remove them. Little did I realise then what a landmark the windmill would become for Batemans Brewery.

For my 21st birthday my father had given me a pub. In the 1920's we decided it was time to start purchasing some more. Despite finance being difficult, which seems the story of our lives so far, I acquired a group of pubs that everybody else thought was worthless. An auctioneer friend of mine from Boston decided I had gone completely mad and said I should give up brewing and join him, especially as I now had a young family to support. My father had taught me many things but one of the best things both my parents instilled in me was not to give up so I replied, "If the ship is going down I am going down with her".

In 1927 I was, in my own way, a very excited man. My first son had been born, George. The best way I knew how to celebrate this day was to buy somewhere that would be able to sell Batemans beer. I decided to purchase the Vine Hotel in Skegness.

Skegness was becoming a prosperous seaside town. I decided to build another hotel in Skegness. The County Hotel was built on the site where Billy Butlin had had a skittle alley. In 1935 my three children helped lay the Foundation Stone.

Business was still not easy. However, Billy Butlin decided to build his first Butlin's Holiday Camp in Skegness with, of course, some bar facilities. On a few occasions I had enjoyed a few pints of Batemans beer with Billy, which he thoroughly enjoyed and he therefore decided to give us the licence for these bars. During the Second World War the holiday camp became a Naval Station known as H.M.S. Royal Arthur which meant we continued to supply plenty of beer.

In 1947, to my great relief a proper main water system was introduced into Wainfleet. Originally the water had been pumped by hand from the River Haven, which runs next to the Brewery. This water was found to be beneficial to the balanced flavour of our beers. However in the mid 1930s, the water became so polluted we decided it was not a good idea to continue using it so water had to be brought by lorry from the nearest suitable supply seven miles away.

In 1950 I was delighted that George decided to join me in the Brewery.

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Drink Aware

Please note that alcohol can only be purchased by those aged 18years and over and at Batemans we urge all our customers to drink responsibly. For further information on suggested limits and how to drink responsibly please go to drinkaware.co.uk

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