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Industry pays respects to Queen Mother

From The Publican


Licensees and pub operators across the UK have paid tribute to the Queen Mother, who died last Saturday (March 30).

Many have also recalled personal memories of her lifelong support for the pub and drinks industry.

At Young's pub the Queen's Head in Stepney, East London, licensee Julia Pittaway said the pub's staff and regulars were finalising plans to mark the occasion.

The Queen Mother was famously pictured pulled a pint of Young's bitter at the pub in 1987, and many older regulars also recall her visits to the East End during the Blitz.

Spokesman Michael Hardman said all the company's pubs would be open for business as usual during the period of national mourning, with a toast on the day of the funeral.

"That is exactly how the Queen Mother would have wanted it," he added.

Recalling both the visit to the Queen's Head, and a more recent private visit to the Young's Brewery in London just before her 101st birthday, Mr Hardman said: "I remember thinking on both occasions what a remarkable woman she was.

"We're obviously very sad at her passing." London brewer Fuller's chairman Anthony Fuller recalled the Queen Mother's 1989 visit to the Salutation pub in Hammersmith, part of a tour of notable gardens in the area (see picture).

"After looking at the very impressive garden at the Salutation, she came into the pub itself," he said.

"Our licensee had arranged for all his regulars to be there, so there were about 100 people in the pub.

"What was amazing was that afterwards everyone felt as if she'd spoken to them personally.

"She moved expertly around the room shaking hands, making eye contact and saying a few words. It was a very memorable occasion and I felt very privileged to have met her."

Peter Arkell, chairman of Arkell's Brewery in Swindon, met the Queen Mother at a party at Buckingham Palace in 1995 and again at Newbury Races the day after, when she saw him across the ring and made a special effort to go over and talk to him.

"This is a very sad time for the country and she will be missed for many years to come," said Mr Arkell.

To celebrate her 100th birthday two years ago, Arkell's brewed a special birthday beer which was delivered to Clarence House.

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