Man with a passion seeks Soulby tray

Richard Percival with his beer trays.
Richard Percival with his beer trays.

A man with a passion for collecting historic brewery trays hopes the people of Alford and Skegness can help him find a very rare item made by a company that no longer exists.

Richard Percival has been collecting for 30 years and has been looking for the Alford based brewery Soulby Sons and Winch Ltd black backed steel tray, dating from the early 1930s, during that time without success.

He found it existed purely by chance while researching in the Lincolnshire area and now he is determined to find it and add it to his vast collection which he keeps in his own museum.

He said : “I collect mainly pre-war brewery memorabilia including ceramic coasters, ashtrays, jugs, matchstrikers, and bells. However, my biggest passion is that of collecting British brewery trays which pre-date 1970. I have Britain’s (if not the world’s) largest collection of brewery trays totalling around 1,200 some of which date from the 1870s.”

“I was shocked, surprised and excited to find out that a company called B.A.T Co Ltd manufactured a Lincolnshire tray that I have been chasing for 30 years. I was starting to convince myself that the tray from Soulby, Sons & Winch from Alford did not exist. The brewery actually owned 83 public houses before it’s takeover by J.W.Green Ltd in 1951 - it was closed a year later. “

Richard, from Leicestershire, is also keen to find memorabilia from other Lincolnshire breweries.

Anyone who can help Richard in his quest to find the Soulby’s item can contact him on 01664 464883 or 07715 369540 or email him at