MEW’S beers were once the Island’s favourite tipple.

They were brewed in the grand sounding ‘Royal Brewery’, which stood at the junction of Crocker Street and Holyrood Street.

Mew’s made a lot of money ­— in 1965, they made a profit of £160,000, and that’s a lot of pints.

They were sold that year for £1.5 million and eventually ended up in the hands of Whitbreads, who then closed the brewery because they were really only interested in the 144 pubs that came with the deal.

The last pint was brewed at Newport in 1969 and the building was then sold to our illustrious council.

Just as dynamic as today’s council, they did nothing with it, leaving it empty for years, and it gradually became a playground for local children.

Perhaps inevitably, one Sunday afternoon in October, 1979, the old brewery caught fire – it was a spectacular one, too.

Within minutes, traffic on Medina Way ground to a halt as everyone, myself included, abandoned their cars to watch the biggest fire Newport had seen in living memory.

The fire brigade gave it their best shot but it was a lost cause and in less than 20 minutes it was all over and the roof caved in.

PC Gurd ­— remember him? ­— turned up like a bad penny in the middle of it all, and he wasn’t happy.

A ‘keen’ policeman, shall we say, he tried to order the drivers back in their cars but no one listened.

Everyone wanted to see the fire and they ignored him.

According to conspiracy theories still trotted out to this day, the fire was the work of shady developers who wanted to see the listed building gone.

Wrong on all counts.

Planning permission to demolish the brewery had been been in place for years, added to which, it was never listed in the first place.

The fire seems to have been due to nothing more than children playing with matches who simply brought about what was scheduled to happen anyway.

At least the old brewery went out in royal style.