White Shield lorryThis small Warwickshire village’s annual show attracted steam engines, classic cars, vintage military vehicles, tractors and lorries from as far as Sheffield. Many travelled shorter distances – John Wilson’s 1929 Leyland SQ2 Worthington White Shield delivery van came the 1.5 miles from Frankton to take part in the Commercial Vehicle display.


Yes that's me standing next to John’s beautifully preserved black delivery lorry that dates back to when almost every pub in the land stocked White Shield bottle-conditioned India Pale Ale made at the Worthington Brewery (now owned by Coors) in Burton upon Trent.

During the 1990s, all brewing of White Shield was transferred off-site to King and Barnes brewery in Horsham, it then became extremely difficult to get hold of. Rumours of its demise were scotched when Worthington’s relaunched White Shield in 2002, bringing its brewing back to Burton.

Paula GoddardLoved by home brewers, White Shield is one of the few bottled beers to contain natural yeast sediment. Drink the treacle-toffee flavoured beer to within ½ an inch of the bottom and you’re left with a cloudy liquid containing a small amount of live yeast cells. If you want to use these to ferment your own homebrewed beer (they add a slight White Shield flavour) you must first increase the number of yeast cells in what’s known as a ‘starter’. Pour the remaining White Shield into some watered down malt extract and place in your airing cupboard for a couple of days. Now you’ve supplied the yeast with some warmth and fresh food they’ll multiply into a frothy mass capable of turning your freshly boiled malt extract and hops into beer.

Dave Line’s recipe for Worthington White Shield (Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy) makes a beer exactly like its namesake but it does assume you’re an experienced homebrewer. Rather than starting from first principles and extracting your malt extract from whole grain, why not use ready extracted malt that comes in a 1.3kg tin, as I did. This cuts about 2 hours from the beer making process and produces a dark-red treacle tasting beer capable of winning competitions (entering the Tunbridge Wells Winemakers' Circle beer competition with this in 1998 won me first and second (!) place).

If you want to save some yeast for your own homebrew, Worthington White Shield is available from Waitrose at £2.09 for 500ml.

flourAustralian and New Zealand bread-flour will be fortified with folic acid within two years it was announced today (June 22). Adding 200-300 micrograms of folic acid per 100g of flour is expected to prevent between 14 and 49 neural tube defects in Australian unborn babies each year.

The British Egg Information Service’s plan to resurrect their fifty year-old advice to “go to work on an egg” has been stopped by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre. It seems suggesting eating an egg everyday for breakfast breaks Ofcom advertisement rules on promoting a varied diet.

Bolting rhubarb is not a good sign. The twenty year-old rhubarb patch in my neighbour’s allotment is showing all the evidence of being old and tired. Flower-heads are produced when a plant feels its life is threatened – a lack of water or nearing the end of its productive life are the most common reasons. But this is not a time to be down-hearted.