Tuesday 17 May 2016


Well that’s another beer festival all wrapped up. Is there a better way to put a few bob into the club’s coffers? Supping ale and snaffling down tasty pork pies, all for a good cause.
Not all the ales were completely consumed; however, both Hopback ales took a hammering; Summer Lightning and Yakima Blonde as expected, closely followed by Castor Ales Hopping Toad, Sarah Hughes Bramling Cross and Potbelly’s Hedonism, all pale ales. The Malt Icknield brown ale was the most popular of the darker ales with Potbelly’s Black Sun a close second. Just one ale sadly never cleared in readiness for consumption, North Yorkshire’s Boro’ Best.
The pork pies were incredibly popular, they were delivered at 6:00pm on Friday evening and were all sold out by mid-afternoon on Saturday. Fuggles had to reserve one just ensure the PRATS didn’t succumb to malnutrition. We had 6 varieties to choose from standard pork pies, pork and stilton, chicken and gammon with melted mature cheddar on top, pork and whole grain mustard, pork and stuffing and pork with extra black pepper. Many thanks to Chadwicks Fine Foods of Nuneaton (a contradiction if ever there was one) for their wonderful savoury snacks.
Thursday evening started off with Rob Conner entertaining the troops, not many of us in attendance but nevertheless we had a good sup. Dan Willis came along with Jamie Singh and a few friends, little did Jamie know that this was the prelude to a surprise stag weekend, 24 hours later Jamie plus 20 mates were thrashing the beers down in Bratislava, are they home yet? Jamie is one of the very few people who can genuinely claim that ‘DAVE SINGH’S MY DAD’, the other 400 are just wishful thinkers.
Friday night was Dr Busker night, a packed Latimer park were duly entertained by bawdy, raucous and downright rude tunes. Ditty’s about the ‘hands on ‘ approach to the conservation of Panda’s, the health and safety executive and the Welsh were all well received, curious how more people joined in the chorus of the ‘MORE BEER MORE BEER’  song the later the evening went on.
Saturday started at midday, we had a couple of ‘ale tickers’ in, lever arch files tucked under arms, ticking off all the new ales they’d sampled. One chap had travelled from St Neots, he was delighted to tick off 9 new ales, which is considered a lot for a 20 ale festival. Strangely they were sporting unusual footy shirts for this part of the world, one for Forfar Athletic the other for Annan athletic. Early afternoon and BPW under 14’s had their end of season presentation. It wasn’t long before the participants of the ‘fans match’ were limbering up in the bar. You would normally expect lubricants to be applied to the legs, none of it; it was their throats that received the most attention. Just over an hour later they were back in the bar, gagging, some boasting of their footy skills, saving penalties or scoring 2 foot ‘tap ins’.  Penfold gave away a penalty when he tripped himself up, a triple somersault followed by a couple of back flips and finally performing a pirouette convinced the portly ref, who incidentally spent most of the game in the centre circle, to award the spot kick. The less said about the penalty taking the better. Later that evening Maxwell, Hammer & Smith thrashed out some decent tunes, close harmonies, thwanging guitars, heavy head banging were all the encouragement the Poppies media team needed to sup just about every beverage known to mankind. McGinty’s Goat was on good form, especially when ‘Whiskey in the jar’ was duly belted out by the band. We had to explain to him that it was the title of the song and not an instruction to go the bar with a rather large jug.
Sunday morning was a rather gentle affair, it was ‘£1 a pint day’ and we supped some stuff.
Monday we took it all down, all done and dusted for another year. Many thanks to all the volunteers to helped throughout the festival, setting up, fetching this and that, serving the ales and then taking it all down. Many thanks must go to Doreen for putting up with us and supporting us throughout the whole event.

See you all next year.

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