REGULAR Bugle readers will recall the Black Country Ale Tairsters, or BATS for short, who set themselves the target of drinking a pint in every pub in the UK.
They have featured in our pages many times over the years and recently they have chalked up another milestone, having been to every pub in Wales.
The group began their bibulous epic in 1984, since when they have travelled well over a quarter of a million miles around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and drunk in a staggering 17,310 pubs, earning themselves a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Along they way they have raised several thousand pounds for charity.
On top of that they have also toured Europe, sampling the continental beers of Germany, Holland and the Czech Republic, among others – but these ‘extras’ do not count towards their record total.
Their mission began when Banks’s published a map with 300 of their pubs. 20 friends completed the map and there are now three original members left – Joe Hill (82), Pete Hill (57) and John Drew (49).
It has taken them seven years to visit every pub in Wales, travelling at weekends and holidays. The trio drank in 3,905 pubs and covered 76,327 miles, thanks to drivers Karl Bradley, Kelvin Price, Gary Mountain and Malcolm Maynard, who drove them around Wales.
The BATS asked the licensee of every pub they called at for a pound and collected money from other patrons too. They raised £3,000 for Wrexham, Bangor and Rhyl Children’s Hospitals, £2,360 for Mid Wales Meningitis and £5,650 for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff.
And the ale tairsters’ mission continues – they’ll soon be heading off to Cumbria for four days and adding more pubs to their grand total.