As if John Houlding didn’t have enough to contend with in the summer of 1892 with the foundation of Liverpool Football Club, he also had to deal with a burglary at his brewery in which a large sum of cash was stolen.
Houlding’s brewery was founded in 1871 and situated in Tynemouth Street, which was off Breckfield Road North in Everton near where Turpins pub is now. It was there where Houlding’s Beacon Ale was brewed, which was the only alcoholic refreshment available at Anfield.
On Sunday 17th July 1892 John Waters and Charles Holmes climbed over the gate and entered the office, which was left unlocked as the Excise had the right to enter it at any time. They stole £10 and 9s, the equivalent of £1,088 today and were alleged to have distributed this around friends, four of whom were arrested for receiving the money.
All six males were committed to trial at the Liverpool Sessions in St George’s Hall, their case being heard on 23rd August. This was just three days after Houlding had taken the newly signed Liverpool players for a picnic and sports day in West Kirby. Waters and Holmes were found guilty and sentenced to two months imprisonment, but the other four accused, one of whom was a female, were acquitted.
After John Houlding died in 1902, his son William took over the running of the brewery and it eventually closed in 1939 after being bought out by Ind Coope. Tynemouth Street is now long gone but Tynemouth Close stands in the vicinity. The only reminder of Houldings Ales left is a glass panelled window in a door at Ye Cracke pub in Rice Street, Liverpool city centre.