Around 130 former brewery workers, who hold the Huntsman close to their hearts, will get an insight into the future of their beloved brewery tonight.
The former Tetley’s Brewery staff, who spent an average of 24 years with the famous Leeds firm, will be briefed on the Project Space Leeds (PSL) gallery that is to be housed in the Tetley Headquarters building as part of an annual reunion.
Some of the company’s old guard, who all began working at the Hunslet brewery in 1993, are travelling from as far afield as Russia to be part of the Joshua Tetley Association’s 13th annual dinner at the Hilton Hotel, in central Leeds.
Richard Sanderson, association founder, said: “We all have a great passion for the old place and as it has been flattened there is virtually nothing left of the brewery. It’s just an insight into what’s going to happen.”
The former marketing manager at the 190-year-old brewery, which closed on June 17 last year, said 23 new members will attend this year’s event.
Kerry Harker, PSL director, said: “It is about restoring it back to what it was initially intended to be.
“There is a whole network of old Tetley people in the city and we would like to meet them and tap into their very special knowledge of the building.”
She said PSL hopes to open its gallery, that will feature work space for artists as well as cultural organisations and a cafe bar/ restaurant, by the spring of next year.
Dave Ibbetson, 54, from Belle Isle, worked at the brewery from 1977 to 2011 as a brew house operator and in quality control and will also appear as a guest speaker on the night.
Mr Ibbetson, known as Ziggy, said: “When we are there it just emphasises and strengthens that bond we had in the brewery and how special it was – it is hard to explain.”
The association has around 600 members and meets annually for the dinner at the Hilton, on the first Friday of October.
It is open to anyone who started working at the brewery in any capacity before 1993, as that is when the company first amalgamated with Carlsberg.
Call 07867 801180 for details.