North East Wales

Wrexham Tuttle Street brewery chimney up for eBay sale

John Marek with the chimney
Image caption John Marek is using the auction site to widen his search for a buyer for the Tuttle Street chimney

A Victorian brewery chimney in Wrexham town centre has been put up for sale on eBay after a local search failed to find buyers.

The town's former MP and assembly member, Dr John Marek, acquired the grade II-listed landmark more than 20 years ago to save it from demolition.

But after offering to give it away through local appeals, he has now put it on the auction website with an opening bid of 99p.

The chimney stands 120ft (36m) high.

Dr Marek said he has, so far, received one serious inquiry for the chimney from a local mountaineering group who wanted to use it for training.

"Unfortunately, they couldn't get it fitted into their insurance cover without it costing them money - otherwise they would have loved to have had it."

He said he has also offered it to Wrexham council, but they did not want to take it on.

Most famous

"It's disappointing because this is an historic landmark and the only bit of Wrexham's brewing industry that's easily seen," he said.

Built on on Tuttle Street in 1894, the chimney was part of the former Soames brewery which later became part of Wrexham's Border Brewery.

It closed in 1984 after a takeover by the Marstons group and the future of the chimney was then put into doubt before Dr Marek agreed to become its custodian.

"I'm still hoping that someone in Wrexham will come forward and take it over," he said.

"I'm getting on and I want to pass it on for someone else to look after.

Image caption The chimney stands close to St Giles parish church

"It's in good condition and it needs to be preserved for future generations. It's an important part of our heritage."

Dr Marek said his solicitor had advised him to sell the chimney, rather than give it away and any money he receives he will donate to charity.

The insurance costs him about £700 to £800 a year, but he said the chimney's structure is in a good state of repair with a survey showing no sign of problems.

By the 1860s, Wrexham had 19 breweries.

The most famous became Wrexham Lager which was founded in 1882 by Otto Isler and Ivan Levinstein, two German immigrants.

They called it the Wrexham Lager Beer Company in 1881 and started brewing lager a year later.

It stopped being produced in the town a decade ago but has just been revived by a micro brewer.

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