Fond tributes paid as Thwaites chief ‘Mr John’ dies, aged 91

Blackburn Citizen: John Yerburgh John Yerburgh

THE president of brewery Thwaites, John Yerburgh, has died, aged 91. Mr Yerburgh, who was chairman of the Blackburn firm until he stood aside in 1993, was a direct relative of company founder Daniel Thwaites.

He had a 67-year involvement with the Penny Street firm and was affectionately known by staff as ‘Mr John’.

He died peacefully at his home in Scotland with wife Ann, chairman of the brewery, by his side. He also left five children and seven grandchildren.

Thwaites chief executive Rick Bailey said: “John Yerburgh always cherished his family’s 200-year-old association with Blackburn throughout his long life. His long and committed involvement to Thwaites and support of the town and its people will be sorely missed.”

Mr Yerburgh’s involvement in the family firm started after the Second World War, where he saw action in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He joined the Irish Guards in 1941, rose through the ranks to Captain, and served with the Guards Armoured Division.

He was also an intelligence officer and technical adjutant during the Normandy landings and the European campaign and was among the first troops to enter Brussels in 1944.

Mr Yerburgh was the grandson of Elma Thwaites – daughter of Daniel Thwaites – who took the name Yerburgh when she married the then Chester MP Robert in 1888.

He was appointed a director of Thwaites in 1947, becoming chairman in 1966.

The brewery was a major part of his life and he guided the company’s doubling of its number of licensed outlets, always insisting that any new purchases were freehold and not built with flat roofs. He oversaw the successful expansion of the company’s free trade activities across the North West and in the 1960s and early 1970s rebuilt the Blackburn town centre brewery, which became recognised as one of the most modern in Europe.

A Thwaites spokesman said: “He was greatly respected by all his employees. From the top to bottom he knew his staff, workers and pensioners. He was a great supporter of the brewery’s shire horses and was elected president of the Shire Horse Society in 1983/4.

“He was especially keen to help local causes and supported the setting up of Daniel Thwaites Charitable Trust, which annually distributes a portion of profits.”

Comments (2)

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4:47pm Fri 20 Jun 14

songman says...

So sad to see the Daniel Thwaites brewery closing after being a major part of John Yerburgh`s life which he built up to be recognized as one of the most modern brewery's in the industry. RIP John.
So sad to see the Daniel Thwaites brewery closing after being a major part of John Yerburgh`s life which he built up to be recognized as one of the most modern brewery's in the industry. RIP John. songman
  • Score: 10

1:56am Sat 21 Jun 14

woolywords says...

Give the man his due, tried and failed to make Dr Thwaites, Patent falling down water, as good as Arthur Monk did, for the State Management Scheme.

I shall raise a glass, in memory of that man...
and try to forgive him, for the demolition of St John's Tavern.

the toast is..
John Yerburgh, in which we all soaked..
in no order..
fox and grapes
3 pigeons
the prince
gibralter
the park
jackies pub..(stoneyhurst)
the fleming
the brewery tap
the vic
star and garter
Trevor, in the adelphi
the George
the Infirmary
Navigation
the Highfield
the one on the the corner, near where I used to live..(foundry)
and Mick!..in the Bastwell
Mick, in the the Tavern too
the Plane Tree
did I mention the Queens, in Audley?
or that mad pub run in Ossy?
3 pubs, less yards apart?
or, the duck n' puddle,
the Alex
or the Gib?
the thing is, I drunk in so many, my brain is shot,
pint of caffery's, in O'neils..
Hello Nuala, I knew that you thought that i'd forgotten you,
Nuala Gallagher, drop dead gorgeous, but married!
she drew titties in my pint..
Give the man his due, tried and failed to make Dr Thwaites, Patent falling down water, as good as Arthur Monk did, for the State Management Scheme. I shall raise a glass, in memory of that man... and try to forgive him, for the demolition of St John's Tavern. the toast is.. John Yerburgh, in which we all soaked.. in no order.. fox and grapes 3 pigeons the prince gibralter the park jackies pub..(stoneyhurst) the fleming the brewery tap the vic star and garter Trevor, in the adelphi the George the Infirmary Navigation the Highfield the one on the the corner, near where I used to live..(foundry) and Mick!..in the Bastwell Mick, in the the Tavern too the Plane Tree did I mention the Queens, in Audley? or that mad pub run in Ossy? 3 pubs, less yards apart? or, the duck n' puddle, the Alex or the Gib? the thing is, I drunk in so many, my brain is shot, pint of caffery's, in O'neils.. Hello Nuala, I knew that you thought that i'd forgotten you, Nuala Gallagher, drop dead gorgeous, but married! she drew titties in my pint.. woolywords
  • Score: 7

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