Colin Drury’s tribute to Dave Wickett understates the latter’s achievements.
When he opened his first real ale pub, the Good Doctor, not the Fat Cat, there was nothing else like it, not just in Sheffield, but anywhere else in the entire country.
At the time, the large brewers dictated what people drank and seemed determined to force everyone to drink bland, homogenised beer.
Where Dave led, others (notably Neil and Sheila Clarke at the Cask and Cutler) followed.
And the Sheffield Real Ale Trail was born.
That has probably done more to put Sheffield on the tourist map than anything initiated by the City Council, Destination Sheffield or any other agency.
Nationally, it can justifiably be claimed that Dave Wickett made a major contribution to empowering consumers and increasing their choice of what to drink.
If you need evidence of this, compare supermarket shelves now with those of 20 years ago.
Dave Wickett proudly claimed that the Fat Cat was ‘fiercely independent’.
I’m worried that a Derbyshire-based brewery, which appears to want to re-introduce corporate values to the industry, and has been steadily increasing its pub empire in Sheffield, should not get its hands on Dave’s flagship pub.
Paul Kenny, S3