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Canalhouse regulars and real ale aficionados have made the Canalhouse pub’s biggest themed beer festival a charity winner with over £1,000 raised towards the memorial to Nottingham’s and Nottinghamshire’s Victoria Cross holders to be built at the Castle.

The first pint was pulled from one of 21 casks by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Jeannie Packer, watched by the mayors of three neighbouring boroughs, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe alongside members the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Victoria Cross Committee.

Canalhouse manager Yvette Storey says the beer festival began as a simple idea from her regulars. “This was readily endorsed by Tony Higton, the VC appeal’s chairman and Dave Green, manager at Nottingham Castle. Breweries came on board to supply an amazing range of martial milds and bitters. Others have donated goods, beer and merchandise.”

Tony Higton says, “The idea to honour all 20 Nottinghamshire Victoria Cross holders began three years ago when Ron Booth obtained a memorial for John Caffrey VC and along with some dedicated friends, I obtained a memorial for Robert Humpston VC and Charles Ernest Garforth VC. We decided to band together, and with some dedicated friends, our committee was formed. We’ve been helped by the city council, Nottingham Castle and Rushcliffe Borough Council, with the London based George Cross and Victoria Cross Society advising us on our best course of action.

“Our planned memorial, of rough hewn granite, polished and engraved on one side, will be a worthy statement that our heroes will be remembered, and Nottinghamshire’s heritage preserved

“I’m delighted the Canalhouse has organised the beer festival and really enjoyed trying some of the ales myself,” he says.

Yvette Storey described the ale tally as geographically diverse and wide ranging in taste and style. “Among the beers were Barnes Wallis Bitter, Land of Hop and Glory, Lancaster Bomber, Legion Ale, and, of course, Spitfire,” she says. “For some people this was a serious beer festival with tasting notes and considered conversations, while for others it became a great opportunity to sample many old favourites and meet some ales new to them and the city.”

(l-r) Canalhouse manager, Yvette Storey, with the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Jeannie Packer and Matt Goodwin, dressed in the Royal Flying Corps uniform as worn by Albert Ball VC.

(l-r) Canalhouse manager, Yvette Storey, with the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Jeannie Packer and Matt Goodwin, dressed in the Royal Flying Corps uniform as worn by Albert Ball VC.

(l-r) Canalhouse manager Yvette Storey with the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Jeannie Packer, and the Mayors of Gedling, Rushcliffe and Broxtowe, Councillors Suzanne Prew-Smith, Councillor Peter McGowan, Councillor John Longdon, and Tony Higton, the VC appeal’s chairman.

(l-r) Canalhouse manager Yvette Storey with the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Jeannie Packer, and the Mayors of Gedling, Rushcliffe and Broxtowe, Councillors Suzanne Prew-Smith, Councillor Peter McGowan, Councillor John Longdon, and Tony Higton, the VC appeal’s chairman.

(l-r) Simon Mace, Canalhouse deputy manager, Sgt Pete Higton, 20 Squadron RAF Wittering; Chris Stewart, British Limbless Ex Servicemen's Association; Tony Higton, memorial appeal committee chairman; Ron Booth and Ben Percival from Ernest Smith, toast the beer festival’s success.

(l-r) Simon Mace, Canalhouse deputy manager, Sgt Pete Higton, 20 Squadron RAF Wittering; Chris Stewart, British Limbless Ex Servicemen's Association; Tony Higton, memorial appeal committee chairman; Ron Booth and Ben Percival from Ernest Smith, toast the beer festival’s success.

“Attention casks!”, some of the real ales ready for the big push.

“Attention casks!”, some of the real ales ready for the big push.