A joint campaign by Nottingham Castle and Castle Rock Brewery to promote the city and its iconic landmark has taken top honours in the national Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Business Awards. The entry for the best partnership, devised by castle manager Dave Green and Castle Rock’s commercial director, Colin Wilde, was to create a world record by getting as may people as possible on the Castle Green dressed as Robin Hood.
In what the judges described as a ‘ridiculous idea’, the gathering of 1,119 people in March 2008, convincingly broke the existing record, and created a significant community gain.
The judges, who included Mike Benner, chief executive of CAMRA (campaign for real ale), the award sponsor, said, “If there was one entry we could pick out for putting a smile on the judges faces then this was it. Seeing the way a brilliantly silly idea so quickly captured the imagination of the judges reading about it so long after the event, it was easy to understand the success it became at the time.
“We were impressed by the creation of this local partnership in the first instance and the mix of energy and ideas subsequently employed delivered clear benefit to many independent user groups,” he said.
As he collected the award at a ceremony at the Institute of Directors, London, Colin Wilde said, “We were delighted to be involved in this from start to finish. The key thing was to create a memorable day at Nottingham Castle – we certainly achieved that and to win this coveted award is the icing on the cake”.
For the March event, ‘Robin Hoods’ enrolled at the city’s Canalhouse pub before winding their way up to Nottingham Castle for the count. Canalhouse manager, Yvette Storey, was always looking forward to enrolling hundreds for the event. “But the numbers who rolled up were staggering in their appearance and enthusiasm. We welcomed visitors from Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and many English cities including Sheffield, York, Northampton and London and of course hundreds from Robin’s own back yard’.
Castle manager, Dave Green, says, “Nottingham Castle is always keen to work in partnership with local businesses when mutually supportive objectives can be found. It’s super that the hard work and long term benefits of our association with Castle Rock Brewery has been recognised in this way. We look forward to working with them just as successfully in the future now a winning formula has been found.”