The Old General Arrives at Castle Rock Brewery

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The Old General has officially touched down at Castle Rock Brewery!

Having been MIA for the past few years, the Old General was brought to our attention after a local CAMRA member stumbled upon him accidentally. Boxed up, out of sight, it was clear this cherished piece of history was in need of a loving home.

After a complex logistic endeavour including a crane and some heavy lifting, the Old General is currently soaking up the sun in the Vat and Fiddle’s beer garden.

We are very thankful to Nottingham CAMRA for providing us with the opportunity to recover and restore this beloved statue. A special thank you too, to Nick Molyneux, Nottingham CAMRA member and pub heritage enthusiast for providing us with some additional information on how the statue came to be. Including sharing an interesting write up by John Baird which can be found on the Nottingham City of Literature website – or read on for more.

We’ve learned a lot about the iconic statue which stood so proudly at The Old General pub in Hyson Green. We knew, as many others will remember, that for over a century the statue was dressed up as Santa Claus every Christmas. Positioned in a window above the pub’s entrance, it welcomed and waved off each customer as they came and went. Of course, we intend to continue this lovely tradition with our own Castle Rock twist!

About the Old General

As John Baird explains, the Old General is a statue that honours Benjamin Mayo. A well-known Nottingham local who sold ballads, broadsheets, and chapbooks. Despite never serving in the military, he earned the nickname “The Old General” by leading children around the old marketplace as if they were soldiers. Mayo was often seen in the Market Place, shouting out orders to the children like they were soldiers.

He saw himself as a second Mayor of Nottingham, and by the time he had reached 60, he was wearing a military cap along with his red coat and truly embodied the appearance and attitude of a general.

Sadly, Benjamin Mayo died in 1843 and was buried in the old St Peter’s Churchyard. The love that the community had for him resulted in the statue that we see today, and we can’t wait to give it some well needed TLC!

Our Plans

Our aim will be to restore the Old General to his former glory! We’re looking to work with a local artist or restoration group to help us strip down and repaint the statue in its original colours: a red army jacket, yellow waistcoat, and grey breeches. We will display the revamped statue with a plaque, with hopes to immortalise the story of this very lovable, eccentric Old General.

We’re so excited to share this restoration journey with you all and are honoured to welcome the Old General into the Castle Rock Family.

Thank you!

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Nottingham CAMRA for making us aware of this lost relic and for providing us with such wonderful surrounding stories. We should also say thank you to the one and only Benjamin Mayo, who lived his life to the fullest and continues to bring joy to so many.

Finally, thank you to everyone joining us on this journey to restore a piece of Nottingham’s history – we can’t wait to see the final result!

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