The longest pub crawl continues - 22,000 and counting

It started 38 years ago but what is surely the longest pub-crawl in history has hit another milestone.

The Black Country Ale Tairsters visit their 22,000th pub – The Featherbed in Shrewsbury. From left are, Mark Abraham, Pete Hill, Greg Thickett, Lionel Randall and Wayne Hill.
The Black Country Ale Tairsters visit their 22,000th pub – The Featherbed in Shrewsbury. From left are, Mark Abraham, Pete Hill, Greg Thickett, Lionel Randall and Wayne Hill.

Pete Hill and the Black Country Ale Tairsters (BATS) have now visited 22,000 pubs across the UK, raising more than £30,000 for charity in that time.

Pete, 65, from West Bromwich, is the co-founder of BATS, and he was joined by friends in the group as they descended on The Featherbed in Shrewsbury to mark the occasion.

What started as a quest to visit 300 pubs on a map produced by Marston's has grown and grown with scores of new challenges, including the latest – visiting all of the 4,500 pubs in the Camra Good Ale Guide for 2020.

It was the second milestone Pete has hit in Shropshire, after the New Inn at Blist's Hill Museum was the location for the 5,000th pub all the way back in 1993.

Over the course of his efforts Pete has drunk almost 51,000 pints in the venues, and has 280 arch-lever files to store pictures, menus and other mementos from his travels.

As he reached the 22,000 number he thanked Marston's who arranged the trip, and reflected on what – in his considerable experience – make a good boozer.

"Without a friendly landlord you have got no pub. It's the gaffer, the beer, and then the clientèle," said Pete.

"Today has been a great day. The gaffer is lovely, he's a smashing chap, he let us relax, play cards and chat, take a few photos, it has been a fantastic day."

After eight pints at the Featherbed it was back to Pete's local, the Tamebridge in Great Bridge, by minibus for one to round the evening off.

The group's current efforts are raising money for the Midlands Air Ambulance, but Pete said that he had never imagined visiting 22,000 pubs when he started.

He said: "I never, ever thought I would keep doing it this long. I always thought it would be finished years ago but people keep joining up and pushing me to do different challenges and here I am."

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