Nostalgia: Heysham Granny’s nettle drink

Granny Hutchinson pictured in the apron in Heysham village.
Granny Hutchinson pictured in the apron in Heysham village.

With its breath-taking views across Morecambe bay, Heysham village has been a long go-to destination.

During the 1950s tens of thousands of people descended on the village to enjoy its attractions, which includes sandy beaches, woodland, quaint shops and The Barrows.

Granny Hutchinson

Granny Hutchinson

Nestled on the Lancashire coast the village has many hidden gems and famous villagers who made the area stand out in time.

One of these figures is a well-known granny famous for her home brewed nettle tea. To this day Granny Hutchinson is a popular name in the heart of the village - with many people often heard saying “you couldn’t go to Heysham without having a glass of that wonderful drink.”

A cottage sits on Main Street dating back to the early 1900s, it was here Granny Hutchinson brewed her nettle beer.

The nettle beer has been described as a tonic made from herbal extracts, sugar, yeast, lemons and, of course, nettles. It is said to stimulate the blood, help those who suffer from rheumatism and also to be an ‘unconfirmed’ hair-restorer.

Granny Hutchinson is believed to be pictured in the 1915 photographer, numbered two, Our Very Own Boys Committee given to Heysham Heritage Centrye by Phillip Rudkin.

Granny Hutchinson is believed to be pictured in the 1915 photographer, numbered two, Our Very Own Boys Committee given to Heysham Heritage Centrye by Phillip Rudkin.

It is believed ‘old granny’ made the brew with nettles from around the village.

“There used to be a few ladies in the old cottages who used to make nettle beer,” said Alice Saunders, who has lived in Heysham all her life.

“The nettle beer was about three pence a glass.”

Granny Hutchinson is pictured outside the cottage which attracted thousands of tourists over the years, all wanting to taste the village’s traditional drink. In one of the pictures Granny Hutchinson is believed to be pictured in the 1915 photographer, ‘Our Very Own Boys Committee’ given to Heysham Heritage Centre by Phillip Rudkin.

It is also reported that in the late 1950s Elizabeth Parkinson took up the ‘granny role’ and was also a babysitter for many families in Heysham.

Do you know more about Granny Hutchinson? Are you related to her? Do you have any pictures of her and her famous drink?

If so then please call 01524 385 932 or email gemma.sherlock@jpress.co.uk.