Thursday, 23 June 2011

Happy 140th birthday, Ben Shaws!

Ben Shaws, the soft drinks manufacturer who brought the distinctive taste of Dandelion and Burdock – amongst others - to the people of the UK, is 140 years old this year.

To celebrate this landmark, the company has embarked on a tour of the country’s county shows where not only will visitors get a chance to sample the flavours of Cloudy Lemonade, Bitter Shandy, Cream Soda and the famous Dandelion and Burdock, but to vote on which one is their favourite. 

What’s more, back in the days when the Miss World competition was a global phenomenon, Yorkshire had its very own version – Miss Ben Shaws. Each year a girl who was seen to embody all the qualities of Ben Shaws – fun, sparkling personality, plenty of fizz! – was crowned the winner each year and given a free crate of Ben Shaws soft drinks every month for the year of her reign.  The title was much sought after and hundreds of girls entered every year.

Now, as Ben Shaws celebrates 140 years of business, the firm is to pay homage to the old days by looking to crown a number of contemporary Miss Ben Shaws. “Each and every one of our new Miss Ben Shaws will be given a year’s supply of our soft drinks each,” added Sundeep.  “We’ve had tremendous support from the fans of Ben Shaws over the years and we want them to come and celebrate this landmark birthday with us.”

The company was founded in 1871 by Ben Shaw himself, who used the family shire horses Bonny, Blossom, Cherry and Dick to deliver his soft drinks via horse and cart.  In later years the firm used what became known as the Ben Shaws “pop van” and the drinks came in glass bottles that when returned were a popular way for children to earn pocket money.  And for a shilling an hour, Ben Shaw’s grandchildren would watch the bottles coming off the production line, checking for specks of dirt, making sure very bottle was perfect.

“We’re very excited about it all,” said a spokesman.  “140 years is a long time to be in business and it’s great to see that the original four flavours are as popular as ever.  It’s a brand that has stood the test of time and is as popular now as it was all those years ago.”

As part of Ben Shaws’ birthday celebrations, they can be found at:
Eccleston County Fair 16-17July
Southport Air Show  23-24 July

For more information, visit either www.benshawsdrinks.co.uk or www.facebook.com/benshaws

FACTFILE:
Ben Shaws® was started in 1871 in Huddersfield by Ben Shaw himself, beginning by bottling and selling natural mineral water from the Pennine Hills.  Ben Shaw then expanded into making soft drinks in his own, purpose-built factory, and distributed his drinks to various shops in the Yorkshire area via horse and cart, using his family’s Shire horses Bonny, Blossom, Cherry and Dick.  In later years the firm used what became known as the Ben Shaws “pop van”. 

The drinks came in glass bottles that when returned were a popular way for children to earn pocket money.  And for a shilling an hour, Ben Shaw’s grandchildren would watch the bottles coming off the production line, checking for specks of dirt.  Every bottle had to be perfect.

Those descendents followed him into the business, and in 1959 the company became the first in Europe to invest in the can – the very latest in soft drinks technology.

The name Ben Shaws is synonymous with premium quality, and the Ben Shaws’ range of soft drinks comprises the well-loved Dandelion and Burdock, Cloudy Lemonade, Bitter Shandy and Cream Soda

Cott Beverages purchased Ben Shaws in 2005 and has upheld its pledge to maintain the company’s standards and reputation.

(EDITOR: Still tastes just as good!)




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