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Yarmouth's Lacons brewery remembered in ceremony

PUBLISHED: 15:53 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:35 06 July 2010

Anthony Carroll

Memories of Yarmouth's premier brewery bubbled to the surface today as a blue plaque was unveiled at the former site of the Lacons Brewery.

For more than 360 years the brewery, at what is now the Palace Casino, delighted countless beer and ale lovers with a vast array of delicious brews.

Memories of Yarmouth's premier brewery bubbled to the surface today as a blue plaque was unveiled at the former site of the Lacons Brewery.

For more than 360 years the brewery, at what is now the Palace Casino, delighted countless beer and ale lovers with a vast array of delicious brews.

At its height the brewery, which become known as Lacons from 1760, controlled 300 pubs and employed 150 workers and made Yarmouth a top destination for beer lovers.

The plaque on the casino in Church Plain was unveiled in front of ex-brewery workers and civic dignitaries, including former Lacon's head brewer and board member and sheriff of Yarmouth Michael Falcon.

During a speech Mr Falcon recalled how during a German bombing raid in 1942 firemen decided to rush to the brewery to save it from the ravaging flames while other buildings burnt, including St Nicholas Church.

He also recounted how he used to pose as a drinker to quiz bar staff on how well Lacons' sales were going - with one young barman in Yarmouth's Golfers Arms telling him he thought the drinks tasted awful.

The first record of a brewery in Church Plain is of one owned by Jeffery Ward in 1640. In 1760 it became Mr Laycon's Brewery - named after John Laycon who had married into the Ward family.

The brewery remained in the Lacon family until 1965, when it was taken over by Whitbread. It made its last beer in 1968.

Today's event was organised by the Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society and is the fourth plaque unveiled by the society this year celebrating Yarmouth's rich history.

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