An Elland man dubbed ‘Black Sheep Bob’ and ‘Lord Baume’ is retiring after 50 years in the brewery trade.
Robert Baume has become a familiar face in pubs and social clubs in the north of England having begun working for Websters brewery in November 1966 , aged 19.
However, it was an unusual start to his long career after beginning work as an architectural assistant for four years.
“Following illness of the Leeds sales representative, I was given a Morris Marina full of beer mats, bar towels etc and asked to cover the patch until his return.
“Unfortunately, for him, he never returned and so I took over the patch and the job permanently.
“This meant visiting Working Men’s Clubs, Night Clubs and other free trade outlets in the Leeds and district area, working for a team known as The Untouchables.”
His career has seen him work for established brewers including Whitbread Brewery, Oak Brewery (now Phoenix), Heywood and Robinwood, Todmorden before joining Paul Theakston in 1993, who had set up Black Sheep Brewery the previous year .
“This was possibly one of the most enjoyable periods of my life, working for a “true gentleman” and helping to develop, what was to become a legendary company, brewing beers which were eventually known and sold throughout the world. This finally ended back in 1998 with a move to Elland Brewery.”
With the emergence of the microbrewer, he went onto work for Copper Dragon in Skipton for six years helping to turn the business into one of the most successful new cask ale suppliers in the north of England.
Finally retirement loomed so he made what was to be his swansong move to join Beverage Express as a free lance salesman on Lowfields Trading Estate, Elland, before retiring in March.
“On the whole, I loved my job even though it was 24/7, I looked forward to Monday mornings and the unknown challenge of a new week and was proud to wear the company tie and lapel badge.
“I, along with my contemporaries at the time, had possibly the best years “in the trade”, a time which has now gone forever, never to return.”