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Nottingham's original real ale specialist pub, the Lincolnshire Poacher on Mansfield Road, marked its 30th birthday with a day of bargain ales, music, and reunions of past owners, licensees, and customers.

(l-r)    Castle Rock’s managing director, Colin Wilde; Stuart Bateman; Vicki Saxby, Castle Rock’s operations director; Andy Walters, manager, Lincolnshire Poacher and Chris Holmes

It was in 1989, that Wainfleet’s Bateman’s looked to open one of their first pubs in a city dominated by the big three – Home, Shipstones and Hardy’s and Hanson’s. With the plan to poach their trade, Stuart Bateman and his family called on Chris Holmes, owner of the fledgling Tynemill company, to run it. It became their third pub.

Nowadays, the Poacher is wholly owned by Tynemill’s successor, Castle Rock Brewery, and it was theirs and Bateman’s ales that the hundreds of the party goers enjoyed at under £1 a pint, celebrating thirty years of the Poacher with 1989 prices.

The day, attended by past licensees, Stuart Bateman and Chris Holmes also featured live music including an unscheduled appearance by singer songwriter John Otway.

John Otway’s surprise performance 

Today’s ‘Poachers’: Mick, John, Mike, and Colin refuse to give up their place at the bar.

“We’re the old gits who’ve inhabited this corner every Monday night for at least 25 years. They can’t get rid of us now!,” says John…

Shev, who works at the Poacher (and is also responsible for their new crisp packet recycling initiave) had transformed the upstairs function room, displaying 30 years’ worth of the pub and its patrons in a nostalgic visual representation of how the Poacher has changed – or not! – through the years. (Pictured below)