Louis Coleman – Ginger Beer maker

Louis Coleman – Ginger Beer maker

Louis Coleman was born in Leicester in 1864. The 1881 census lists him, aged 17, as an employee in a Ginger Beer Manufactory.

The earliest bottles bearing his name come from the village of Barkby in Leicestershire, and probably date from 1885/86 when, in his early twenties, he established his own Ginger Beer business. The business may have operated from the old Bakery in Barkby, which was owned by Merton College, Oxford.

In the 1888 and 1889 trade directories, Louis Coleman’s business is listed at Melton Road, Belgrave. From 1890 until 1900 the business is listed at premises on Abbey Lane, Leicester – the period from which the bottles date.

After 1900, Louis Coleman set up a refreshment room at Rothley Crossroads, probably due to the losses incurred through theft and damage to the stone bottles – and the popularity with the local children of the marble used as a stopper in the neck of the bottles! The refreshment room continued until at least 1940.

When the refreshment room closed, the next generation of the Coleman family were vehicle engineers, and the refreshment room became “Coopers”, the BMW car agency, then the main warehouse for Leicestershire Libraries, and currently is a branch of the Co-op.