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Popular English brewery 'invaded by 100-strong group of travellers'

A popular English brewery was 'invaded' over the bank holiday weekend by what it described as a 100-strong group of travellers.

Published: May 29, 2018
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Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn said the group were later evicted but that damage worth around £100,000 had been dealt to the brewing site and head office.

The drama reportedly unfolded on Saturday evening after a convoy of nearly 50 vehicles and caravans illegally forced their way into the Thwaites’ plant before denying access to staff in what was described by the brewery team as an "aggressive stand-off".

The brand then put out a plea to Lancashire police on Twitter stating that their "family business was in danger".

A spokesman for Thwaites said at the time: “They are putting our family business in real and present danger.

“We have been in Blackburn for over 200 years and have never experienced anything like this. They have no business on our site and are carrying out criminal damage as we speak.

“We find ourselves powerless victims in this situation and I find it incredible that these travellers are allowed to get away with this sort of behaviour.”

However following negotiations with the police, Thwaites were able to regain control on Monday, with a spokesperson for the company, giving thanks to the officers involved and local MPs, stating: “We would like to thank them for all of their assistance over a bank holiday weekend, which we appreciate is a busy time for them.

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“It’s been an incredibly difficult and frustrating weekend for us all and we are now assessing the criminal damage that has been caused both inside and outside the building, which is considerable and what theft has occurred from the site.

“But despite it being a horrendous situation, we have also seen some fantastic work from our staff who have dropped everything to help or got on with their jobs in far from ideal circumstances.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported us, either in person or through messages. We really appreciate it and we are glad to have our site back.

“Our next task with our staff tomorrow is to start a massive clean-up and get our business up and running once again”

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The staff have since confirmed that the site was left in a "disgusting mess" with copper pipes stolen, vending machines smashed, litter strewn about the premises and offices trashed.

According to the BBC, no arrests were made following the incident but Lancashire Police confirmed that it was investigating the damage and thefts involved.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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