Three of Lincoln’s favourite pubs took part in Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour (BBPT), recreating the famous tortoise and the hare race around town. The BBPT which is in aid of Variety, the Children’s Charity made its way into Lincoln on Tuesday 5th August visiting three pubs – William Foster, The Mailbox and Slug and Lettuce.

So far Stonegate Pub Company have raised over £160,000 in just eleven weeks of the nineteen week tour, smashing its original target of £100,000 in six weeks and putting it on track to be the biggest ever single fundraising event in aid of Variety.

As the largest pub tour ever attempted in the UK, excitement and anticipation for the Lincoln event was already high with crowds of customers participating in a very early Christmas party! The William Foster took on an Australian Christmas theme, whilst The Mailbox team planned a Christmas beach party and the Slug & Lettuce, a sparkling Christmas complete with twinkling lights, baubles and special Christmas cocktails.

The highlight of the day was the tortoise and the hare race. Donald, a five year old tortoise, who lives with Stonegate head office employee Nadine Hill, arrived by chauffeur driven car at the William Foster on Guildhall Street. Meanwhile the BBPT Passport was delivered via Santa Claus in his sleigh to the pub from Yates’s in Skegness.

A specially created ramp was erected across the road to The Mailbox. Donald ambled along it, munching lettuce, the miniscule BBPT Passport on his back. As Donald took on his challenge, a giant hare from The Mailbox raced around town with his own version of the BBPT Passport to see how far he could reach in the time it took Donald to cross the road. Customers joined in a sponsored time predictor to guess how long Donald would take and how far the hare would reach, with all proceeds going to Variety. The winner received a bottle of bubbly.

Speaking of the challenge Nadine Hill, Donald’s owner, said,

“He’s a bit of a dark horse. Sometimes, when he thinks he’s not being watched or when he wants to show off, he can move really quickly. He enjoys the limelight so he loved his 15 minutes of fame!”

The challenge over and the passport continued its journey for an end of day party at Slug and Lettuce on the High Street for 5pm where there was a Man vs Food challenge with the winner walking away with a sought-after Man vs Food t-shirt.

Terry Holford, Area Manager at Stonegate Pub Company and regional BBPT coordinator said,

“The teams at our pubs in Lincoln and Skegness have really got behind Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour with bags of enthusiasm and endless fundraising ideas. I’m told Donald had been practicing for his big day and so, of course, had the hare. The four businesses, including Yates in Skegness aimed to raise £2,000 for Variety.

Jackie Dunn said,

“It was an amazing day, lots of customers turned out to watch Donald run across to The Mailbox. We were worried he might be a bit of a diva and take his time but he performed brilliantly. A huge thank you to all who have donated towards our cause, Variety, the Children’s Charity, and for making the day very special.”

As part of the fundraising 50p from the sale of special Charity tipples, Strawberry Pimm’s or a pint of specially brewed real ale, The Crawler (Golden Blonde ale 4.1 ABV) will be donated to the Variety, the Children’s Charity.

To further boost funds, Stonegate have also teamed up with Pop Idol finalist and former soap star Jo Birchall, to launch the single, All About Love, in aid of the charity, The single, which officially launches on 31st August, is now available to pre-order on iTunes here.

The passport will continue its tour around the country culminating with a spectacular party at Slug and Lettuce, Tower Bridge on Friday 26 September.

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