Brewing, agriculture, milling and quarrying, were all important industries in Tadcaster, and produced a lot of related trades such as blacksmiths, stablehands, maltsters, millers, and stonemasons. Tadcaster also had a wide range of other industries. In the 1834 Commercial Trade Directory of Yorkshire, some of the other trades included boot and shoe makers, butchers, dressmakers, hatters, watch and clock makers, carriers, braziers and tin men, nail makers, basket makers, coopers, joiners, cabinet makers, tallow chandler, glove maker and a bird and animal preserver.
Industries supporting brewing
Brewing ale requires water, which was obtained from springs and wells around the town, and malted barley. To obtain malt, barley grains are encouraged to start germinating in warm damp conditions and, once sprouting, are then roasted to produce the malt. As the brewing industry expanded from inn proprietors making their own ale into specialised breweries, a secondary industry of malting grew up. Back garden malt houses gave way to purpose built maltings. The largest of these were the Maltings owned by Major Colley near the railway station and the other maltings beside the railway in Stutton. These employed the maltsters and some labourers.
All ale needed barrels for storage and to transport the finished product. These were made of wood and were produced by trained woodworkers called coopers.
Industries supporting transport
Before the railways arrived in the town, most transport involved horses. Tadcaster was an important coaching town with many hostelries in the town. Tadcaster was important for “changing horses”. The fast coaches changed horses every ten to fifteen miles, depending on the terrain. Tadcaster was ten miles from York and fifteen from Leeds and provided fresh horses. While the teams of horses were being changed, the people in the coaches could get refreshments. So there was a good trade to be had serving the passing coaches. This provided work for ostlers, stable hands, and people serving food and drink as well as providing accommodation when needed. Supplementary to this, several inns had blacksmiths forges in their yards.
Once the railways arrived, the coaching trade declined. Many of the traditional jobs disappeared but new opportunities arose as railway porters, gate keepers, and labourers in the goods yard.
Tadcaster is surrounded by good agricultural land and there has been the need for mills to grind the corn. The presence of a mill was recorded in the Domesday Book and corn milling continued throughout the 19th century.
Industries supporting the town
Every group of workers generates the need for other supporting industries. This includes the shop keepers, butchers, boot makers, dress makers, chandlers, tin men, joiners, cabinet makers etc, and of course the agricultural labourers producing the food. There were carriers and wharfmen moving goods in and out of the town. On Wighill Lane, there was a brick works making bricks and tiles for the houses.