Tickner came from a brewing family. His mother was from the Oliver family that had a brewery in Suffolk, which Greene King acquired in 1932, and his uncle was a head brewer and managing director at the Bury St Edmunds brewery.
He joined Greene King at the age of 16, before serving in the Royal Regiment of Artillery during the Second World War. After returning from the conflict, he went to the Birmingham Brewing School to study the science of brewing.
Flagship Abbot ale
After a spell at Truman’s Brewery in Burton-on-Trent, Tickner’s uncle retired from Greene King and he was appointed second brewer to the brewery in Bury St Edmunds.
Tickner moved up the ranks to become head brewer, crafting the recipe for the brewery’s flagship Abbot Ale in 1959, and then board director in 1963.
Outside of brewing, Tickner was a great supporter of wildlife conservation and horticulture. He created the Fullers Mill Garden where he lived, and was the founder of Lackford Lakes, a nature reserve close to Bury St Edmunds.
He was recognised for his dedication to horticulture and wildlife and received an MBE just a few weeks ago.
Commenting on Tickner’s death, Greene King’s chief executive officer Rooney Anand said: “Bernard enjoyed a life-long year career at Greene King. While I never had the privilege of working with Bernard, I always found him to be great company; kind, courteous and unbelievably knowledgeable about a critical subject dear to our hearts – brewing and enjoying great British ale.
“He was hugely respected by us all, and he is still today often talked about in our offices and brewery in Bury St Edmunds.”
A memorial service for Tickner will be held early next year.