Councillor Barrie Jennings, of Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, and the Arkell family unveiled a commemorative plaque on the site of Arkell’s Brewery where John Arkell, founder, started brewing in 1843
Arkell’s was established by John Arkell 180 years ago and is Swindon’s oldest business, remaining a family business handed down through the generations. Today onlookers gathered for the unveiling of the entrepreneur’s commemorative plaque, including current members of the Arkell family, local brewery shareholders who are all descendants of John Arkell, brewery staff, Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, and the Stratton History Society.
The decision to mount a commemorative plaque for John Arkell was proposed by Stratton St Margaret Parish Council. Cllr Robert Jandy commented: “As one of my final duties as Parish Chair, I am proud that John Arkell has finally been recognised by being awarded a blue plaque, a man and family so important to Stratton St Margaret. Arkell’s is one of less than thirty family breweries remaining in the UK.As Swindon’s oldest business, Arkell’s has kept its founding values alive and continues to produce local beer for local customers.”
Alex Arkell, sixth-generation of the Arkell family said “John, our great, great, great, grandfather built his brewery at exactly the most important moment in Swindon’s history. Three miles across the fields from his farm, Isambard Kingdom Brunel opened his great Swindon Railway Works that same year. Our history is inextricably linked to the growth of the Railway Works and then the subsequent growth of Swindon in the surrounding area. John saw the potential of this little town and 180 years later we’re still here and very thankful he chose this spot.”