Friday 3 August 2018

Remembering Alan Winfield

Remembering Alan Winfield

I'm sorry to have to publish this, but unfortunately Alan passed away on Friday 27th July at 11:25am after his 8 month battle with cancer. We found out last November that he was ill and it has been really hard to watch him decline so quickly.

I helped my Dad to write his last blog post and I could tell that it meant a lot to him to get it published. I only found out that he had a blog by chance fairly recently, I used to write instructions for him to publish photos etc. to Pubs Galore, but I know that he stopped posting there a while back. He used to get frustrated with "modern technology" when he was reading my hand-written notes on how to copy and paste, but he didn't realise how good he got with it in the end!

Dad went on holiday last August with my Mum (his drinking partner) to Falmouth after years without a break together, before he found out he was ill. I'm so glad that they got to spend that last holiday together, one of the pubs even made it into his top five so he must have enjoyed it.

He read every comment on his blog and he loved everything to do with pubs and beer right until the end. Thank you to everyone who commented and followed Alan's blog - we'll keep it going and if you want to get in touch, post a comment and I'll get back to you. Alan has a huge photo collection and his pub list which he must have spent thousands of hours documenting, and I'd hate to see it go to waste.

In time we'll think of ways to use what he's created, but for now cheers Dad and we'll have a drink for you,

Chris, Judy & Michelle


  1. I am so very sorry to hear this. :(

    Below is what I wrote in what he told us was his last post:

    They say there is a place above… we go to when we die,
    By heaven is this haven known… although I’m not sure why.
    But there’s another resting place… for those quite strong of heart,
    Valhalla by the Vikings known… for those who stand apart.

    They say tall tales are sung up there… great deeds by Bards are told,
    Not only worthy must one be… but also very bold.
    This usually involves a fight… against great odds it seems,
    But they will also honour one… if worthy Odin deems.

    Such is the case for one Brit lad… quite ordinary he,
    In Folkstone he did honeymoon… nowt special ‘bout that see.
    But on that night he supped some pints… and all of them were free,
    With Guinness it continued on… thus borne, epiphany.

    He’d take a ‘crawl’ when ‘ere’ he could… around the pubs he’d go,
    A Never Ending Pub Crawl this… his better half in tow.
    And this he did for many years… no pub he would avoid,
    In fact ‘back street’ he did prefer… might say that he enjoyed.

    For cask and keg this too applies… our lad he could care less,
    “The pub’s the thing” he might have said… to fans he would impress.
    He might alarm the bearded folk… or those that tick a box,
    But Alan Winfield, as he’s known… would simply say ‘Boll-ocks’!

    The journey is the thing you see… the destination moot,
    Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride… it’s sure to be a beaut.
    For at the end if you look back… can say with honesty,
    That what took place, without a doubt… a marvelous journey.

    For Alan Winfield this is true… a legend some might say,
    Deep down though he is just like us… though in a different way.
    The paths he’s blazed some might walk down… and as they do, bethink,
    While others make a mental note… next time they take a drink.

    Alas the latter is my bane… for I live far away,
    But Alan’s path I swear I’ll walk… if I’m in the U.K.
    So to this “never ending” guy… I raise my glass of beer,
    And hope that up ‘above’ we’ll meet… that’s worthy of a tear.

    I'll raise my glass to him later today once the sun is over the yardarm.

    Again, my condolences.


  2. Well, let's hope there are loads of pubs to tick off Up There.

  3. Chris, Judy & Michelle - really sorry you've lost Alan. Hope you can see how much we all appreciated his humour and enthusiasm. We're all going to miss him a lot. Thanks for letting us know. Martin

  4. So bad to read this update so soon after Alan's last post of the sad news regarding his illness. Not sure if short and swift is better than prolonged agony to endure the news no family wants to receive.

    It was a pleasure to meet your dad and spend a day with him in Bristol a couple of years ago.

    Thought with all of the family in this distressing time.

  5. I would have liked to have met and had a pint with your dad, only found his blog last year by chance, but immediately found his posts and blogging style honest and entertaining.

    I saw from his posts that he'd even been in some of the same pubs where I've been in the past.

    My condolences and thanks for publishing this update.

  6. Thanks for letting us know this very sad news.

    I met Alan once, four years ago, and we shared a few beers together. I always enjoyed reading his blog. His contributions to Pubs Galore were immense.

    I hope you'll be able to continue to publish his photos and his notes on his pub visits. He has created his own memorial and will not soon be forgotten.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear that Britain's foremost pubman has passed onto the great crawl in the sky. He was a real inspiration to all us junior pub baggers. To hear that you want to get his archive out there is brilliant, it's a real treasure trove and the sort of thing social historians will be all over in the next few years. Raise a glass to him from all of his fellow pub nerds (so long as it's not John Smiths Smoothflow Crap!). Quinno

  8. Ethelred The Unsteady3 August 2018 at 17:13

    Alan and I must literally have rubbed shoulders, at the bars of the pubs in Stapleford, Beeston, Sandiacre, Nottingham, Long Eaton, Stanton-by-Dale, Castle Donington, and Nottingham during the 1970s and 1980s, quite unbeknown.

    I'll miss his droll nonchalance on these pages.

    Thank you very much, Chris, Judy and Michelle. I extend my sincerest sympathies to you at this sad time.

  9. Not unexpected but it still hurts to lose a pub reviewing legehd that Alan was, I wish I had met him , I didn't but he has left a unique legacy, commiserations to Alan's family but for what its worth he will not be forgotten in the pub culture he obviously loved. Hail the legend.

    1. Sorry for the typo, (you can't edit these things)
      a Legend is always a legend however you spell it.

  10. Sorry to hear of your loss. He was indeed a legend. We'll not see his like again.

  11. Please accept my sincere condolences.

    Though quite a newcomer to Alan’s blog I very much enjoyed it. His passion for beer and pubs certainly shone through.

    It’s good to know that you hope to continue his blog and share his legacy, and look forward to sharing more of his experiences and memories.
    Very best wishes,

  12. Very sad news. I never met Alan, but he came across as someone with a great love of pubs of all kinds, and of exploring.

    It was good in a way that he did get the chance to see all the tributes left in the comments to his previous post.

  13. Sorry to hear of your loss,Alan has made a great and entertaining contribution to the nation's knowledge of pubs.

  14. I always found Alan's blog interesting, especially if they were areas and pubs I was familiar with, but even if not it always made for an interesting read. Some of his older reviews take you back to a different time (a time before I was old enough to be in pubs) and offer a real insight into the changes of pubs over the years.

    Sorry for your loss, best wishes to the family.

  15. Alan's blog was the initial one that sent me into the rabbit hole of reading pub crawl blogs, and I'll be forever grateful. My condolences.

  16. Herts Beer Drinker4 August 2018 at 07:25

    Alan's blog was the only blog i ever bothered to read regularly. I loved reading about all the old pubs, described perfectly in his entertaining style. I never met him, but I wish I had. His records serve as a unique history of pub culture through the decades and I do hope that they can be used at some point in the future.

    I regularly holiday in the falmouth area (always head into The Chainlocker) and I'll be sure to head into The Front next time I'm there to remembe Alan.

    Sending my condolences to Alans family. My thoughts are with you at this time.

  17. Sorry for your loss.I can only echo the previous comments,and was highly appreciative of the blog,though only discovering it relatively recently.

  18. I’m very sad to learn of Alan’s passing, as whilst not a regular visitor to his blog, I remember he frequently posted comments on some of the other blogs I follow.

    His stamina in getting round as many pubs as he did, his enthusiasm and his passion for the good old English boozer are the things I shall remember him for; that and his incredible knowledge of pubs up and down this fair land.

    Like many of the other people who have posted here, I never met him, but he sounded like the ideal companion to take on a pub crawl. Please accept my condolences for your sad loss.

  19. I'm so sorry to read about Alan's passing, I really enjoyed looking at his collection of pub photographs on Pubs Galore. He is a great loss.
    Lady Grey

  20. I have spent some time thinking about Alan's death and the contribution he made to the community of people who care about pubs and beer, and who write about their enthusiasm and document it with their photographs. It seemed to me that I could help to commemorate Alan's life and work by creating a pub crawl: The Alan Winfield Memorial Pub Crawl.

    I have posted details on two forums that I participate in: The Beer and Pubs Forum - - and the Pubs Galore Forum - I have invited people to join me (on Wednesday, 5th September) when I do as many of the pubs on this 30 pub list as I am capable of doing, but I have also pointed out that Alan's extended pub visits were often in no one's company but his own, and I will be happy to follow in his footsteps in that respect too.

    What Alan did on his days out - maybe an extreme form of pub crawling, in some people's eyes, given how many pubs he did in one day - was recorded in great detail in the notebook that he always carried with him and which he transcribed into the reviews of those thousands of pubs that he had been to over several decades of pub visits, and which formed the basis of this blog. I admire his efforts and achievements. This memorial pub crawl will be my way of saluting him.

    1. I would like to go on this pub crawl to remember Alan and start at the Festival Inn, Trowell.
      PS I am Alan's brother, Steven Winfield.

    2. Hi Steven. It would be great to meet you. I'll be catching the 15 bus from Ilkeston and should be at the Festival Inn at just before opening time, which is 11am. See you on 5th September!

    3. Hi Will. I will be getting the 15 bus in Ilkeston as well, so I might see you there. Steve

    4. Hi Will. I get to Ilkeston at 10:52 and catch the 15 bus at 10:55. This will get to Trowell at 11:02.

  21. Sadly I cannot make the tribute pub crawl. However, I am currently sitting in The Front raising a pint of Skinners Lushingtons in Alans memory. I have often overlooked this pub, however decided to visit on Alan's recommendation. Very good it is too. 8 real ales on and, as Alan noted, you can bring your own food in.

  22. Very sorry to hear that Alan has passed away. Like many on here sadly I never got to meet him but felt like I knew him through his writing. He really will be missed by a lot of people.

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  24. I onlt just found this site, and had commented on one of Alan's pub crawls before I saw this sad news!
    My commiserations to his family and friends. He sounded like a smashing bloke to spend some time with ove a pint or two.

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  33. Sorry to hear :(

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  35. I still sometimes visit the blog, what an amazing legacy. 5 years on, some stranger on the internet still remembers you. Hope you’re enjoying a cold pint up there

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