FOR approximately 30 years I have been collecting British brewery advertising items, ranging from old adverts to ceramic match strikers.

However, my true passion is collecting pre-1970 British brewery trays, in particular trays with black backs, indicating that they are pre-war.

In fact I believe I have Britain's, if not the world's, biggest collection with over 1,500 trays, some dating as far back as the 1880s.

However, despite the size of my collection, appearances both on radio and TV, I am still missing a number of trays some of which could have originally been used in pubs from within your area.

For example: Ashby's Staines Brewery, once of Church Street, which was taken over by Simonds of Reading in 1930 with 300 licensed public houses.

Another was TF Harris, Knowle Green Brewery, which was itself taken over by the Ashby Staines Brewery in 1903 with 94 tied houses.

I feel that a black-backed tray must have been produced from one of these two breweries, bearing in mind the number of pubs both owned.

Could any of your readers help? Did anyone have a relation or friend who worked for the above breweries?

If anyone does have a tray I'd greatly appreciate a call on 01664 464 883 or 07715 369 540, or email or write to me at

Stoneleigh House 17 High Street Waltham on the Wolds Leicestershire LE14 4AH Thanks for your anticipated help with this plea.


Address as above