A Burton author is planning to produce the definitive book on the town's brewing heritage – but needs your help.
As any Burtonian will appreciate, the topic is vast, which is why Ian Webster is estimating the work may take him up to 10 years to research and write.
But your input to the book is vital if this is to be an exhaustive work and the hunt is on to find almost anything and everything which sheds light on Burton and its beer. This will be the third book Ian Webster, 48, will have written on the brewing industry.
His first book on the history of the Ind Coope and Allsopp brewery was published in 2015 and he's just finished his second – Brewing in Burton upon Trent – which is due out via Amberley Publishing in February.
Mr Webster, who now lives in Swadlincote but is originally from Burton, said: "My book Brewing in Burton upon Trent is an overview of the town's brewing history, but due to space limitations, I wasn't able to go in to as much detail as I would have liked.
"It has long been my ambition to produce an exhaustive and all encompassing book about the subject, so I would like to appeal to readers for their help. I am looking for any historical documents related to Burton and brewing. This may be books, brewery company magazines, leaflets and advertising literature.
"I'm also after photographs, maps from the 19th century, Staffordshire business directories, newspapers, letters, paperwork, plans, beer labels and ledgers. The older the better – just anything that might form part of the story."
It's widely acknowledged that most of the history about the town is still in the town, as Burton families worked for Burton breweries and lived, worked and died in the town.
Mr Webster is therefore hoping readers will delve into the depths of their sheds, lofts and garages to find the information.
He said: "It is surprising what people have hidden away – that dusty old book may be unique and therefore the only available source of a certain piece of the story. I would like to bring all of these threads together.
"Perhaps you are related to a brewer, a cooper or a maltster and have documents in your family – maybe old diaries or notebooks written by grandparents or even great grandparents? Or maybe you have researched your family tree and have uncovered information which may help?
"The story is not just Bass, Marston, Worthington, Allsopp and Ind Coope, it includes Eadie, Bindley, Everard, Salt, Truman and Robinson.
"In fact any of the 100 or so breweries that have been in the town since Benjamin Printon established his business on Horninglow Street in 1708."
The finished book will be between 200,000 and 250,000 words long, with the author dedicating between five and 10 years to the work.
Items suitable for the project can be loaned with contributors receiving a thank you in the finished book.
If you can help Mr Webster with his quest for information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 0795 6075044 or 01283 343323.