Pubs across England celebrated St George's Day in style, giving a strong boost to the campaign to make April 23 a national holiday.
Bedford brewer Charles Wells, which launched the value of St George campaign in association with The Publican, said its flagship Bombardier ale sold an extra 350,000 pints over the St George's Day period, compared to the same time in 2002.
A brewery spokeswoman said: "Many more people celebrated in a pub than last year - the campaign has worked." Charles Wells also distributed 2,500 "make a date" Bombardier kits to pubs across England, including bunting, t-shirts, and pens.
Rick Robinson, licensee of the Willoughby Arms in Kingston, Surrey, obtained more than 300 signatures on a petition calling for the saint's day to become an official holiday. The pub ran a beer festival to mark the occasion with a range of more than 50 English ales on offer.
"The first to sell out was Archer's Spirit of St George, with other patriotic brands close behind," said Mr Robinson.
St George's Day celebrations a success (24 April 2003)