Video: The bitter end for Tetley’s in Leeds

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The famous flag flew at half mast as hundreds of Tetley’s Brewery staff left for the last time.

Current and former staff were invited back for one last drink at the brewery, before leaving in their masses and tears were shed as the gate finally came down on the 189-year-old site on Friday, June 17.

PICTURE: Tony Johnson

PICTURE: Tony Johnson

The closure was also marked by Leeds Campaign for Real Ale and Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, who raised a glass to Tetley’s before urging people in Leeds to boycott its owners, Carlsberg.

A spokesman for Carlsberg UK said: “We would like to thank every employee who has worked at the Tetley’s Brewery since the closure was announced in November 2008.

“Every single person has worked very hard and with great commitment in what have been very difficult circumstances.”

The closure has seen 179 workers lose their jobs, after 112 Carlsberg UK staff and 67 Gist contract workers were made redundant.

One departing worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s a sad day and the end of an era, we were like a family.”

Around 114 Carlsberg staff will remain working on the site, in credit control and telesales, in some of the seven buildings that have been spared from demolition plans.

Les Chew, 63, from east Leeds, was employed in the works department at Tetley’s for 24 years, before being made redundant in 1990.

He said: “I feel for the workers because Carlsberg have only done it for the money. It’s very sad because they were a lovely company to work for.”

Meanwhile Leeds CAMRA and Mr Mulholland were keen to look to the future of brewing, in Leeds, as independent companies continue to flourish. He said: “The area’s wonderful independent brewers are showing that it is perfectly possible to make great beer here in Leeds.

“So as Carlsberg turn their back on Leeds, the people and pubs of Leeds should turn their backs on them and boycott Carlsberg.”

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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