BBC Radio Berkshire – Simonds & Son Drama – live

We were invited to the exciting Loddon Brewery today by David & Vanessa Hearn, where the BBC conducted interviews and broadcast their dramatisation of the early years of the Simonds story. Listen to the broadcast and see more here:- read more…

Hop Leaf News – Issues now on-line

The Hop Leaf News was published just 13 times quarterly from Winter 1954 – Winter 1961 and following requests from staff for greater coverage than was then provided by the Hop Leaf Gazette. These are now available on-line HERE:   Where they provide a great Social History resource from the period. I have posted all we have – just 5 missing! So please help to find them!

BBC WW1 At Home – Interview

BBC Berkshire produced a series of programs to commemorate WW1  ‘World War One at Home,’ one of which features the recollections of David Simonds. You can listen to him HERE’.

Pub Estate – updated

Following some useful contributions from visitors to the site, I have been able to add more images of old Simonds pubs as well as to identify many of those with missing names or places.  Please keep up the good work and send me any pub images or data you may have!  The updated page is HERE.


Many thanks to all those who have contributed their time, personal archives and enthusiasm to this project.  Without you this site would have nothing like the scope you now find.  I have finally managed to write some acknowledgements and posted them – you can find them in the ‘With thanks to’ tab in the footer.

Hop Leaf Gazettes – Library released!

120 issues of the Brewery in-house magazine, ‘The Hop Leaf Gazette’ have been loaded as flipbooks to ‘bookshelves’ under the ‘Marketing’ tab.  There are many more that I do not have, so I would be very interested to hear from anyone who can help us to ‘fill in the gaps’ so that we can build up a more complete resource here.

A Celebration of Beer

BBC Radio Berkshire is celebrating Reading’s brewing heritage, as part of Reading Year of Culture 2016.
We’ll be telling the fascinating story of how Reading beer was transformed from a disgusting swill hated by locals, to an ale loved all over the world.

read more…

BBC Berkshire Phone Interview

I spoke with Bill Buckley today as part of the build up to next Tuesday’s ‘Celebration of Beer event, at Reading Town Hall. Read more for the audio clip and programme plan.

read more…

Simonds Family website is live!

This website is devoted to archive material, so do not expect much ‘hot news’!

I will however try to use this page to announce significant updates and the loading of new archives and data, so that visitors can refer quickly and avoid searching through to see what may be ‘new’. I still have very extensive archives to review and load over time, including an extensive library of ‘Hop Leaf Gazette’ issues, historical family letters and some other family biographies.

I also hope to have contributions to add from visitors who may have relevant archive material to offer to the community.