Harveys Kidderminster Cream

The wine merchants business in Kidderminster was established by 1790 and therefore predated the Bristol business which was established in 1796. The first Kidderminster wine merchant was William Thorn who came from Bristol.

The book explains the romantic and extraordinary journey of the wine from Oporto and Cadiz to Bristol, and then on to Kidderminster by flat-bottomed sailing boats called trows.

The business was developed in both Bristol and Kidderminster by Edward Prichard son of a Shrewsbury wine merchant. He is the key figure in the story. He introduced the Harvey brothers, John and Charles, to the wine business.

The amazing international success of their trademark sherry, Bristol Cream, eventually led the Kidderminster branch being of no continuing significance to Harveys, and it was closed in 1967. But the writing was on the wall for a fine old family firm. It became the victim of its own success. Taken over by Showerings in 1965, Harveys gradually became part of a growing conglomerate. By 2003 it had no presence any longer in Bristol. Now the name of Harveys refers only to the brand, the label on the bottle. As a company, the name of Harveys has been filed away.

Severn Trow

A Severn trow, shown entering the Avon gorge with wine bound for Kidderminster. Artistic licence is used to show the Clifton suspension bridge, opened in 1864 by which time the heyday of the trow was over with the advent of the train. (David Gilbert)

One comment