As the war continued in Europe, life in Britain got harder - although modern thinking might not agree on the following particular subject. Rising costs caused Paten & Co. - a significant wholesale ‘Wine & Spirit Merchant and Beer Bottler’ in the city - to write to all of their trade customers with the following letter:
We regret owing to the Government having further restricted the output of Ale and Stout we are compelled to again reduce your valued orders for Bass, Guinness and other Bottled Beers in the same proportion as the various Brewers curtail our supplies. Also to further increase our prices as shown below. Assuring you of our best services, we are, yours faithfully, PATEN & CO.
There then followed details of the new wholesale prices. Half-pints of India Pale Ales were now 4s a dozen, with pints at 7s 6d a dozen. Guinness’ Extra Dublin Stout was the same price but Patens’ Family Mild and Pale Ales were just 3s per dozen half pints and 5s 6d a dozen for full pints. Recycling was in place, with 1s per dozen being charged on all pint and half-pint bottles as a deposit, and allowed for on their return - and no exception could be made on this rule. ‘So there!’ (Parley, Priscilla, Paten’s Centenary - history of Paten & Co. Ltd 1898-1998, Paton & Co, 2000)
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.