The Hop Leaf Gazette was the ‘In House’ magazine of H&G Simonds Ltd. First published monthly in January 1926 for distribution to management, staff & publicans, it was also later for sale. Produced monthly until the darkest days and paper shortages of WW2, it last appeared in its original blue covered format in December 1942. Relaunched in March 1943 it was later issued quarterly until the Autumn of 1961 when the Simonds name stopped being used. There was one final ‘Souvenir Issue’ in 1985 to celebrate 200 years of brewing at Bridge Street that was drafted by the last member of the Simonds family to serve as a Director at Courage Brewery, David Simonds.

1985 The Bi-Centenary Souvenir Issue

Produced in the editorial style of its day, it included articles on; brewery operations, products & branding, pub refurbishments and corporate news, as well as the profiles and obituaries of key employees, licencees & pub management, births, marriages & deaths among long serving staff, brewery sporting & social events and even a regular ‘Nature Note’. Illustrated with images of people, pubs and events, it proved very popular and well-read among the wider Brewery family.

1952 Brewery Jubilee Issue

Today, it provides us all with a fascinating Social History resource and archive that we are trying to make more widely accessible here. At the end of each year [or edition] a blue bound ‘Compendium Edition’ was produced. Whilst I have many of these, I am keen to put online the original periodicals, since the print face is better and the images are sharper.

1953 FA Simonds Obituary Issue.

Sadly, even a high resolution scan has not made the small faded font reliably searchable for specific names or text, but do try it – to search for your family or special interest.
If you can loan us any missing issues for this project – please do get in touch.

1953 summer issue, The Coronation issue:

Please contact me if you would like to use or quote from these family archives – and always show an acknowledgement.