Sarsaparilla going,going?

Sarsaparilla going,going?

kevin brown
kevin brown

June 9th, 2008, 3:44 am #1

An article titled "East Lancashire loses a sarsaparilla master" appeared in a number of Lancashire neswpapers on 8th and 9th May.It can be read on-line in the May 8th edition of The Lancashire Telegraph.

The article deals with the forthcoming retirement of the present owner of R.Walsh & Co, a firm of herbalists and botanical brewers in existence since 1835, presently located in Blackburn market.There is a possibility the business will disappear although the present owner is hoping to sell it as a going business and says "It is busier than it's ever been,herbal remedies are becoming more and more popular".

The home brewerd sarsaparilla is sold at the stall a long standing fixture of Blackburn market. It is dispensed from an aluminium keg. There are,however,old photographs at the stall,which is located in the 3 day market,dating back to the days when the "sass" was served from traditional wooden casks.

The combined herbalist and botanical brewer is indeed very much a dying breed. In fact only last year Law's Herbal Supplies located in Gateshead,near Newcatle upon Tyne, closed due to redevelopment plans. This firm,which had been in thesame family for over 100 years, made a "pineapple punch" as well as the traditional sarsaparilla. I never had theopportunity to visit this shop, although I recall reading an article in the Daily Telegraph back in the mid 1970's which stated that at that time the shop was still partially lit by gaslight. A couple of years ago I found some quite nice photographs of the interior of the shop on 'flickr" the reference was http://www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/14 ... otostream/ and www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/146473686 they may still be available.

Kevin

[Edited to make the links clickable]
Last edited by DebsCook on June 9th, 2008, 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2007, 1:07 pm

June 9th, 2008, 9:58 am #2


Hi Kevin <IMG height=14 src="/images/happy.gif" width=14>

Thanks for that, I do hope that the chap at Walsh's manages to sell the business on, its such a shame when these historical places close down. The recipes die with them and a traditional and art disappears, I would have loved to try the 'pineapple punch' it sounds delicious. In the same way that Ethno medica project at Kew are archiving herbal traditions and stories http://www.kew.org/ethnomedica/index.html&nbsp;maybe the Herb Society should offer to archive the recipes and document the tradition of the herbalist, the shops and the products they sold? Fingers crossed that Walsh's will survive, be nice to see a little bit of herbal history continue to flourish in the North West.

Debs
Last edited by DebsCook on June 9th, 2008, 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 19th, 2007, 10:46 am

June 9th, 2008, 11:23 am #3

Personally, I can't stand root beer, but for those who do, Ananda has two interesting sections on her blog http://www.plantjourneys.blogspot.com/ detailing how her children went out into her back wilderness and dug up a sassafrass root which she then made into root beer - with contemporaneous photos.

Stephen Buhner has a book called "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation" which everyone seems to rave about. I've not read it yet as I don't drink a lot of alcohol (despite the vast numbers of vodka bottles lying around my house!) and don't have the time to experiment.

Sarah
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kevin brown
kevin brown

July 26th, 2009, 4:49 am #4

An article titled "East Lancashire loses a sarsaparilla master" appeared in a number of Lancashire neswpapers on 8th and 9th May.It can be read on-line in the May 8th edition of The Lancashire Telegraph.

The article deals with the forthcoming retirement of the present owner of R.Walsh & Co, a firm of herbalists and botanical brewers in existence since 1835, presently located in Blackburn market.There is a possibility the business will disappear although the present owner is hoping to sell it as a going business and says "It is busier than it's ever been,herbal remedies are becoming more and more popular".

The home brewerd sarsaparilla is sold at the stall a long standing fixture of Blackburn market. It is dispensed from an aluminium keg. There are,however,old photographs at the stall,which is located in the 3 day market,dating back to the days when the "sass" was served from traditional wooden casks.

The combined herbalist and botanical brewer is indeed very much a dying breed. In fact only last year Law's Herbal Supplies located in Gateshead,near Newcatle upon Tyne, closed due to redevelopment plans. This firm,which had been in thesame family for over 100 years, made a "pineapple punch" as well as the traditional sarsaparilla. I never had theopportunity to visit this shop, although I recall reading an article in the Daily Telegraph back in the mid 1970's which stated that at that time the shop was still partially lit by gaslight. A couple of years ago I found some quite nice photographs of the interior of the shop on 'flickr" the reference was http://www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/14 ... otostream/&nbsp;and www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/146473686 they may still be available.

Kevin

[Edited to make the links clickable]
A recent visit to Blackburn revealed that Walsh's are still in business.The prevoius owner has retired and the apprentice has taken over and plans to continue the business.

I must say the people of Blackburn are fortunate to have 2 long established,well stocked herbal stores in their city market,

The following link should take you through to a photograph of Walsh's "botanic brewery".
www.beckymatthews.co.uk/photo_2386159.html

Kevin
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Sarah
Sarah

July 23rd, 2012, 4:05 pm #5

An article titled "East Lancashire loses a sarsaparilla master" appeared in a number of Lancashire neswpapers on 8th and 9th May.It can be read on-line in the May 8th edition of The Lancashire Telegraph.

The article deals with the forthcoming retirement of the present owner of R.Walsh & Co, a firm of herbalists and botanical brewers in existence since 1835, presently located in Blackburn market.There is a possibility the business will disappear although the present owner is hoping to sell it as a going business and says "It is busier than it's ever been,herbal remedies are becoming more and more popular".

The home brewerd sarsaparilla is sold at the stall a long standing fixture of Blackburn market. It is dispensed from an aluminium keg. There are,however,old photographs at the stall,which is located in the 3 day market,dating back to the days when the "sass" was served from traditional wooden casks.

The combined herbalist and botanical brewer is indeed very much a dying breed. In fact only last year Law's Herbal Supplies located in Gateshead,near Newcatle upon Tyne, closed due to redevelopment plans. This firm,which had been in thesame family for over 100 years, made a "pineapple punch" as well as the traditional sarsaparilla. I never had theopportunity to visit this shop, although I recall reading an article in the Daily Telegraph back in the mid 1970's which stated that at that time the shop was still partially lit by gaslight. A couple of years ago I found some quite nice photographs of the interior of the shop on 'flickr" the reference was http://www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/14 ... otostream/&nbsp;and www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/146473686 they may still be available.

Kevin

[Edited to make the links clickable]
hi I would just like to add that I used to often visit Laws in the 80's with my Dad - it was a regular saturday afternoon treat before going to the local cinema. I have since left the area and it is a shame to hear the shop has closed, these traditional shops are (were) steeped in history and it is sad for the area they have not been preserved. it was by chance after watching a tv programme recently that i have looked at this forum, but I am glad i have as looking at the old photographs has taken me back and it reminded me of those days, thank you
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kevin brown
kevin brown

July 28th, 2012, 2:29 am #6

An article titled "East Lancashire loses a sarsaparilla master" appeared in a number of Lancashire neswpapers on 8th and 9th May.It can be read on-line in the May 8th edition of The Lancashire Telegraph.

The article deals with the forthcoming retirement of the present owner of R.Walsh & Co, a firm of herbalists and botanical brewers in existence since 1835, presently located in Blackburn market.There is a possibility the business will disappear although the present owner is hoping to sell it as a going business and says "It is busier than it's ever been,herbal remedies are becoming more and more popular".

The home brewerd sarsaparilla is sold at the stall a long standing fixture of Blackburn market. It is dispensed from an aluminium keg. There are,however,old photographs at the stall,which is located in the 3 day market,dating back to the days when the "sass" was served from traditional wooden casks.

The combined herbalist and botanical brewer is indeed very much a dying breed. In fact only last year Law's Herbal Supplies located in Gateshead,near Newcatle upon Tyne, closed due to redevelopment plans. This firm,which had been in thesame family for over 100 years, made a "pineapple punch" as well as the traditional sarsaparilla. I never had theopportunity to visit this shop, although I recall reading an article in the Daily Telegraph back in the mid 1970's which stated that at that time the shop was still partially lit by gaslight. A couple of years ago I found some quite nice photographs of the interior of the shop on 'flickr" the reference was http://www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/14 ... otostream/&nbsp;and www.flickr.com/photos/gazcook/146473686 they may still be available.

Kevin

[Edited to make the links clickable]
Hi Sarah,
Glad you enjoyed the photos.Very few of these old businesses have survived.
Walsh long a fixture of Blackburn market has now closed.
Kevin
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