This film is part of Free

Coopering Ceremony

Calling time on a tradition at Ansells Brewery in Birmingham: witness the last time the 'trussing the cooper' ceremony is performed.

News 1967 4 mins

From the collection of:

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Apprentice brewery coopers had traditionally undergone an initiation ceremony on completing their training. Involving much beer and saw dust, 'trussing the cooper' is said to date back to the 14th century but had no place in a world of metal casks. Here we see the last of these events at the Ansells Brewery in Birmingham in 1967. As the apprentice's parents look on we see the young man follow in a proud tradition that he could well have done without!

Ansell's was founded in 1857. In 1961 the firm became part of Allied Breweries. The brewery at Aston in Birmingham was closed in 1981 after a long running industrial dispute and production was transferred to an Allied brewery at Burton upon Trent, much to the displeasure of Birmingham drinkers.