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A HISTORY OF WHITBREAD ARTISTS DEPT
Originally the sign painters shop for the 1930s Stroud Brewery. Due to mergers in the 1950s it morphed into West Country Ales brewery sign painters under John Cook. In the 1960s there was another change of ownership and it became Whitbread Artists Department, moving to an old malthouse at Cheltenham. Eventually in the early 1980s it was made into a 'profit centre' renamed Brewery Artists managed by Mike Hawkes. It was relocated to Gloucester in 1988 and was finally closed four years later by the parent company Whitbread Flowers.
A specialist studio producing signage and colourway designs for pub exteriors. Commissions from Whitbread, Ansells, Eldridge Pope, Brains, Morelands, Halls and others were the core of the work. However, the lasting legacy is probably the superb pub signs produced by various artists over three decades.
Whitbread Artists Dept in 1978 at the Cheltenham studio with staff members Nick Robertson, John Cook and Mike Hawkes.
Brewery Artists staff in 1983 at the malthouse studio Cheltenham yard with staff members from left to right: Nick Robertson, Mike Hawkes, Beth Jenkins, Steve Forster and Rob Rowlands.