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Blandford Beer, Christmas Cheer!

‘Here comes old Father Christmas
Bringing Christmas cheer
The juicy beef and pudding
The brown and foaming beer.
Quoth he – “The beer is famous,
Better I cannot find”;
It’s warms the aching bosom,
It cheers the laden mind.
JOHN LEWIS MARSH , he brewed it,
I like it more and more,
Then go to his Town Brewery,
To buy your Christmas Store.’

 John Lewis Marsh, Christmas 1885.

John Lewis Marsh’s beer was brewed in his Bryanston Street Brewery just behind the King’s Arms public house in Blandford. John had an eye for publicity promoting his brews sometimes adopting a Dorset dialect.

‘When I be tired, vaint or dry
Then MARSH’S ALES’s the drink vor I
Do gee me strength to work apace
And makes me laugh all awver me face!’

Some of his claims were a little excessive and no doubt made ‘tongue in cheek.’ He claimed his beers had health-giving benefits and even reckoned by regular consumption you could live for ever! Sadly as John Lewis is no longer with us, this prescription did not work for the Blandford brewer. While his sons Louis and Will took over the business it was eventually sold in 1939.

(Illustration: John Lewis Marsh publicity material.)


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