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The National Forest’s LANDshapes project interview with John Bonnett

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LANt029 John Bonnett
LANDshapes Oral History interview summary

A born 'Burtonian' John Bonnett tells us how his grandfather moved to Burton from the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border to work in the famous brewing industry, married a local girl and stayed to raise a family. John's fascinating personal insights and expert knowledge lead us on a audio tour through some of the ancient 'mysteries' of brewing such as the Saladin turner and Jacob's Ladder. But it wasn't all beer and skittles....John tell us how men who worked in the 'maltings' all of their lives risked getting 'the miners disease', of silicosis, and how might you feel 'the morning after the night before' getting "inside the big vats" to "clean them out with wire wool? Victorian innovation and modern mechanisation have changed the industry since John's grandfather laboured in the maltings, but all of the by-products are still used. Find out about how even the tiny sprouts on the grain are used, hear John explain about the age old craft of Cooping and the Burton Union System......oh and then, of course, there's Marmite!

Interviewer: Roger Kitchen.
Interview Date: 30/03/2005
Landshape Zone: Trent Valley Washlands
Parish: Burton Upon Trent
Location: Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire,
Date of birth: 1932
Location of Original: Originals held with The National Forest Company.
Reference LANt029

Photo of John Bonnett

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Last updated: 15/9/2005
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