When Cliffe had a separate administration the Bear Inn was an important meeting point for local affairs. It was the centre of the Lewes wool trade and on market days its stabling held as many as 40 horses. Rowing boats were on hire at the river steps.
Adverts are for J.D. Hunter’s fairy spectacular burlesque show “POP”, at the Concert Hall, Lewes from 10th to 12th September 1888.
How long have you been in business here and why Lewes?
Since 1790, originally as a merchant selling wares that were brought in on the tide, over time the brewing side of business grew and grew. Eventually the Brewery as we know it now was constructed, it still made excellent use of its riverside location as its name suggests... The Bridge Wharf Brewery. The Shop on Cliffe High Street is a continuation of the original activities the company’s founder was carrying out some 230 years ago.
Have you found that there's anything that people have asked for more now after lockdown has been lifted?
People are recreating the pub experience at home, so we are asked for lots of merchandise to fill all the home/ garden pubs that are appearing in every street.
What's been your favourite single moment/interaction while trading during lockdown or after having re-opened?
A small number of us remained packing parcels for home delivery, we worked hard but were motivated by the knowledge that these little boozy parcels we bringing some happiness.
If you had the chance, which past Lewes High Street shop would you most like to re-introduce and why?
As a child I loved the Joke Shop in the needle makers, they sold some really naughty things.
Of all the events and meetings that happen on the High Street which are you most looking forward to experiencing again when social restrictions are eased?
Next years 'Dancing in the Old' will hopefully be back in full swing. I'm sure the kids would love to visit Santa on Late Night Shopping as well.
Adam at Harveys Brewery