Mini beer festival at Gosberton

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The people of Gosberton are living up to their reputation for dancing, drinking and having fun.

It’s probably little known outside the village, but it was the residents’ desire to dance, enjoy themselves and drink alcohol that brought about a change in the rules regarding Gosberton Public Hall.

Built as a Temperance Hall at the suggestion of a man who was active in the movement that promoted abstinence and sobriety, the strict rules had to be changed in 1902 so that villagers could have a bit of fun.

And here they go again: this weekend they are planning three days of pleasure-seeking at Gosberton’s first ever mini beer festival.

Gosberton Public Hall chairman of trustees Mick Pell says there will be a range of real ales and ciders for sale over the three days – enough to make Mr Charles Boyer, the leading Wesleyan and active temperance worker who decided the village needed a Temperance Hall, turn in his grave.

However, Charles would probably be delighted that the hall, that opened to the public in 1872, has been well looked after, and was recently given a bit of a refurbishment.

Mick says the hall wasn’t in a very good state of repair when he became involved as a trustee last year. Various pieces of equipment had to be scrapped as a result of a health and safety audit, and money found for a new gas boiler, plumbing, electrical and redecorating work.

Once that work was all done, the trustees were able to allow all regular user groups back into the hall, and put on their own fundraising events, such as quizzes and a summer strawberry and cream evening.

The mini beer festival is the next fundraiser – and real ale fans can look forward to sampling brews from 8 Sail Brewery at Heckington as well as a couple from a Derbyshire brewery, cider from the Red Lion in Stickford, in addition to a small selection of wines, non-alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee and hot snacks.

Mick said: “We think that this is quite an irony putting on this event as we recently discovered the hall was built in 1872 and funded by prominent local members of the Temperance movement.

“We are pleased to say, however, that the restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol were lifted, allowing many years of entertainment where people have been allowed to enjoy a drink.”

The festival is open on Friday and Saturday (11am to 11pm) and Sunday (noon to 4pm).

All the profits will go towards the upkeep of Gosberton Public Hall.

There is also a quiz at the hall on Friday, December 9 (7pm for 7.30pm) – £4 per person, teams up to six.