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Berry Bros. & Rudd looks back on 50 years in Basingstoke

Published:  31 August, 2017

This week Berry Bros. & Rudd is celebrating the 50th anniversary of managing its stock in Basingstoke.

Most well-known for its premises on London’s St James’s Street, the company’s Basingstoke warehouse was opened as a bottling and storage warehouse in 1967.

The Hampshire site was opened by former chairman Christopher Berry Green for its easy commute to London as a way for the family-owned company to expand and modernise.

Two years later, a sales office was added, and today, the site is still in full operation, with two bonded warehouses containing 9 million bottles, sales and marketing offices, tasting rooms and the Berry Bros. & Rudd Warehouse Shop.

“We are so pleased that we can celebrate our 50-year-anniversary in Basingstoke,” chairman Simon Berry said.

“The warehouse has been a huge success and has enabled Berry Bros. & Rudd to evolve with the times. Even more importantly, we have been able to deliver exceptional service and storage to our customers, which has always been and continues to be the number one priority of our business.”

As well as generations of Berrys and Rudds, three generations of Nick Chapman's family have worked at the Basingstoke site since its opening.

His parents-in-law Terry and Ann Fairbairn joined the business in 1967 and worked for the company for 33 years. Nick Chapman who works as a driver, joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in 1997 and in turn, his son Michael is employed in the Warehouse having joined the company in April 2017.

Winemaker Sam Weaver who worked in the bottling hall in 1978 recalled an average day on the bottling line: “The work day had a rhythm to it: start work at 8am, tea break at 10am, beer break at 12 noon, lunch at 12.30, tea break at 3pm, beer break at 4pm and home at 5pm. Berry Bros. & Rudd were generous and supplied a keg of beer for the cellar workers to enjoy… [back then] the world was a very different place.”