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Harley and Sons.

Raglan Brewery. Among the old industrial institutions of Nelson Messrs Harley and Sons Raglan Brewery has always maintained an excellent reputation. In a young community only the most substantial and worthy houses manage to live a long period, for your growing centre is as invariably afflicted with infelicitous conditions as the infant with ailments. Age is therefore to an unusual degree a test, and the business that reckons a long roll of years must possess good recommendations. For upwards of forty years the firm of Harley and Sons have been well-known in Nelson, and to-day they are as virile a force as in iB6O. The management has descended from father to son,

i - — -j— 7— i^ggz=_: and the old traditions are as rigorously upheld as in the long-lived commercial houses of England. Indeed, more than any other part Of New Zealand, Nelson resembles the mother country in this respect. The Raglan Brewery came into existence about 1855, and was founded by Messrs Travers, Oldham, and Smith. Four years later, in 1859, the late Mr Charles Harley purchased the concern, and under the name of Harley and Sons embarked on a successful career. Although the plural number was used in the designation only one son, Mr Wm. C. Harley, was in the partnership, and the firm thus continued for about ten years, when the latter gentleman became the sole proprietor for a further period of ten years. Then Mr Joseph Harley, another son of the founder, was left the business on the fathers death. For twenty-one years he has controlled this important house, and at the same time has been usefully asso- 1 ciated with local public affairs. Mr J. A. Harley is a native of Nelson, and was educated at Nelson College. In 1858 he entered the official service under the Provincial Government, and was subsequently Deputy Clerk to the District Court, and Assistant Clerk to the Resident Magistrate's Court. Then in 1868 he was appointed Clerk to the Resident Magistrate's Court, and a year later deputy registrar of the Supreme Court and Returning Officer, and later still Provincial Accountant. After twelve years service, in 1871, he retired to begin his connection with the Raglan Brewery. Such is a short account of the history of the firm. Mr Harley is assisted in the Brewery by his son, Mr Charles Robert Harley, who for some years has carried out the important work of brewing, under the supervision of Mr Edward Bayley, a highly experienced brewer. The Raglan Brewery is one of the principal institutions of the kind in the Nelson, Marlborough, and West Coast districts, and throughout its extended existence has been situated on the same site, although in recent times substantial additions : have been made to the premises. It is thoroughly self-contained, the firm largely using hops grown by themselves, and doing their own malting. In bottled ale and stout the highest priced Bohemian hops are used. The growth of the brewery was greatly accelerated in the sixties by the gold rush to the West Coast, and in 1865 and subsequent years a large quantity of beer was sent there.. Indeed, the demand led the firm to instal the first steam brewing plant in New Zealand, a circumstance which is well worthy of mention. It is interesting to add that the plant is still in use, and is as sound as ever, consisting of boiler, steam engine, coil, and refrigerator. A reputation was early made by the brew, and as far back as 1866-7 prize medals were taken at the Melbourne Exhibition, while numbers of medals and prizes have been awarded the firm in subsequent years at shows throughout the district, and at the Sydney Exhibition of 1879, the Wellington Exhibition of 1885, and the" Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886. This list is a highly commendable one to be ; possessed in a centre of the dimensions of Nelson. It has come about, therefore, that the name of Harley and Sons has been known beyond the bounds of the district in which it trades. The brewery grounds consist of about two and a half acres in Trafa'gar Square, and are occupied by the brew house, cellar, malt house, malt store, cask washing department, two bottling stores, and outbuildings. The brew house is four stories high, and is most com- : pact, orderly, and clean. The plant, of 15 hhds capacity, is worked on the gravitation principle, but the , process of brewing is now so wellknown that it is hardly necessary to : give a full description of it. Messrs Harley and Sons have established a : ood system, and the business is conducted without a hitch. The hot : water tun consists of a Avooden back with a steam coil for heating, while the mash, tun is of iron plates fitted with Steele's patent masher. The malt store and malt house lead directly off the brewery, the barley loft having a capacity of 500 sacks. The malt kiln is equipped with Hermann's patent wire floor, and the two dry floors are -able to treat twenty sacks ea^ch. The cellar is as cleanly as the brewery proper, and all the other departments. It has a cement floor, naturally rained, and is capable of holding 45 hhds, while the principal bottling store has a capacity of 940 dozen. As may be judged frprh their prize list Messrs Harley and Sons have managed to evolve a high class beer, and one which pleases the local palate for whom it is designed. A large draught beer trade is conducted, and in summer particularly, the brewery, is busily engaged in keeping pace with the demand. . The best sign of its vitality is seen in the ' necessity for extensions which will in all probability be made shortly. The Raglan brew in on tap in most of the principal houses in the district, and a big bottling trade is car-, ried on. Ale m<\ stout are sent right throughout the Nelson district, into all the inhabited bays, and wherever" settlement has gone inland. The best hops, malt, and sugar are used, and no pains are spared to produce a brew that shall please. Mr C. R. Harley has proved himself a capable brewer, and the product is commended by all visitors to Nelson. As already indicated, the proprietor, Mr J. A. Harley, has not confined his energies to business For upwards of twenty years he was a member of the Nelson City Council, and during that period actively associated himself with many important works, particularly the construction of the Rocks Road. He has always been looked upon as a solid stamp of public man, and in 1900 was invested with the dignity of Mayor, occupying the chair for sixteen months. That term will be memorable for the death of the Queen, and the declaration of the King, and also for the equipment and send off of the local contributions to the New Zealand Con tin.-.. gents to South Africa. During Mr Harley's term of office, also, the Nelson abattoir, admitted a model of its kind, was erected, Nelson being the first under the municipal regulations to adopt that step, Mr Jickell and Mayor Harley working very energetically tb make the works a success. Mr Harley is a past District Officer in the Oddfellows, and the Foresters Orders, and has been an officer in the Jockey Cli^ for thirty years, being an ex-president and at present treasurer. But in every way he has identified himself with the welfare of the town, and has become a highly respected townsman.

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Bibliographic details

Harley and Sons., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXV, Issue 205, 7 September 1901, Supplement

Word Count

Harley and Sons. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXV, Issue 205, 7 September 1901, Supplement

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