‘Liverpool in a Pint’ – Help Needed

From Cains Website

Writer brews up history of Cains’ famous brewery

Dec 27 2006
By Neil Hodgson, Liverpool Echo

A CALL has gone out for help to produce a book on the history of Liverpool’s Cains Brewery.

Freelance writer and editor Chris Routledge has been appointed by Liverpool University Press to write the official history, which has the working title The Story of Liverpool in a Pint.

Mr Routledge is aiming to submit his manuscript to Liverpool University Press by autumn next year, ready to hit the shops in early 2008.

He is currently researching brewery founder Robert Cain, but is keen to fill in the gaps from 1921, when the Toxteth brewery was bought by Higsons.

Mr Routledge, from Aughton, said: “The book will show the history of the brewery and its connection with the fortunes of the city of Liverpool. It’s an interesting pattern.

“I’m looking at Robert Cain himself and how he came from Cork to Liverpool. It’s a quite remarkable story.

“He’s thought to have arrived here in 1844 and by the 1870s became known as The King of the Toxteth.”

After working at sea, Cain had enough money to buy his first brewery in Lime Kiln Lane in 1850 Mr Routledge said: “It’s an amazing story of enterprise because within a few years he started buying pubs.

“He established The Vines and The Philharmonic for the growing middle class to go and eat and drink because although Liverpool had thousands of pubs in the 19th and 20th century, most of them were full of bruisers.”

By 1896 the company was valued at £1m and when Robert Cain died in 1907, Liverpool’s 700th anniversary, he left almost £500,000 in his personal will.

However, MrRoutledge says the research trail goes cold after 1921 when the Cains brewery was bought by Higsons and he is appealing to ECHO readers for help.

He said: “I would like to hear from people who have their own living memories, particularly from the war years and the 1960s.”

You can contact him at cainsproject@wordcave.co.uk