yllbb The Yard Reigate

Brewery Yard Murals by Adam Green

In 2018 I was asked if I could brighten up Brewery Yard in Reigate with a mural. The request came for Sunil Pallanas who owns One Stop Stationers and also the yard. The council referred me to him after the previous mural I had painted on the side of Boots. The Boots mural depicted Reigate High St from over 100 years ago and was taken from a Francis Frith photograph.

There wasn’t a brief as such for the Brewery Yard murals. In fact, I didn’t even know why it was called Brewery Yard, probably like most of Reigate. Something lost in the sands of time.  It was only when I started to investigate that I realised the yard was in fact a gateway to a vast brewery that had once existed where Morrison’s and the car park now stand. The last remnants of the brewery were knocked down in the late 80’s to make way for Safeway’s. This was before my time in Reigate but once the project began it was amazing how many stories came from residents who remembered the buildings. The brewery had ceased trading in 1938 and then became a water mineral factory until the late 60’s. Very little happened to the site until it was eventually cleared for the supermarket.

A chance discovery in Reigate library was a book entitled ‘A Brewing Heritage. The history of Brewing in Reigate and Redhill’ by Richard Symonds. This book was a true gift as it laid out the history of brewing in Reigate in such detail and in particular the Mellersh and Neale Brewery and its long history in the town. I knew then I wanted to make the mural about this subject.  I also realised the wall was very long so I decided to make three murals instead of one.

In order to obtain the funds for materials I set up a Go Fund campaign and asked the local community to donate which they lovingly did and am very grateful for all their support.

Because it was a conservation area, we had to obtain planning permission which we eventually did thanks to Simon at Reigate Architects.

The project took a bit longer than expected, mainly because I had enrolled for a Masters in Painting at Wimbledon Art College in between.

Once that was completed it was full steam ahead and I contacted Nicholas Owen because I wanted a recorded history to accompany the murals. He was fantastic and we recorded his narrations at Panther Studios in Reigate.

You can now listen to the narrations while looking at the murals. You can also hear the old Mellersh and Neale brewery song that I arranged to be recorded again at Panther by ‘Alan and his Cohorts’, a fantastic local folk band.

The murals are not only about beer. It’s a history of Reigate from a brewing perspective starting with St Augustine whose Priory existed where todays Priory is and finishes up at Reigate’s modern breweries, Pilgrim and Crumbs Brewing.

It would have been great to have The Cohorts performing in the Yard while we toasted the launch of the murals but at the moment obviously, we can’t but maybe in the future it would be nice to do something.

You can read and listen to the narrations and see the murals online also at:

www.breweryyardmurals.co.uk