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The Real Alfred!

To all my lovely subscribers, I am going to share with you a little story about my Grandad, George Vardy (AKA Alfred) that is not on my blog.

Below is an extra from the Campaign for Real Ales website.

This organisation was started at my Grandads pub The Farrier Arms, St Albans in 1972 Back then he was known as George your barred Vardy. Regulars would often poke their head around the pub door and ask my Nan Gladys, (The kindest woman you could ever meet) if they had been barred. George barred so many people, he couldn’t keep track of who was and wasn’t allowed in!

“That’s fine by me. I’ve always enjoyed AK and Country Bitter. And so have a legion of real ale drinkers, for the Farriers has a special place in the history of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, with its head office in Hatfield Road. A blue plaque on the exterior wall of the pub records that the Farriers was the meeting place of the first branch of the campaign in the early 1970s.

That branch, South Herts, kept the real ale flag flying in the city when few other pubs served cask beer. Beer lovers beat a path to the Farriers to sample the impeccably-kept AK and Country – but their presence was not always welcome. In those days the landlord was an irascible man named George Vardy whose simple rule in life was: “Don’t meddle with me”. By the time I arrived to live and work in the city, George had barred from his premises several leading CAMRA members, including founder member Michael Hardman and national chairman Chris Hutt.

On my first visit, when I politely enquired whether I paid for my lunch when I ordered it or when it was served, George grated: “You pay for it now and if you don’t like it, you can eff off back to ‘Ardman.”


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