On Tuesday 8 January, we took a quick break from our monthly branch meeting to make a very special presentation to the Fat Cat on Alma Street to mark 30 continuous years of inclusion in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide.
The pub was opened in 1981 by the late Dave Wickett, with the first pint being pulled by legendary footballer Derek Dooley. Also working behind the bar on opening night was Diane Johnson, who is still assistant manager to this day.
The decision to import beers from small independent breweries outside Sheffield saw it quickly gain a dedicated following of real ale enthusiasts, and since entering the Good Beer Guide in 1989 there has been no looking back. It was also the first pub in Sheffield to introduce a no smoking room, and live music and games machines have always been eschewed.
Sadly Dave is no longer with us, but his son Ed and the Fat Cat’s manager Duncan Shaw, who has looked after the pub for around ten years now, were both present to receive the 30-year certificate from branch chairman Glyn Mansell.
Handing over the award, Glyn said: “I first visited the Fat Cat soon after it opened. A few years later I attended union meetings on Sundays and after the meeting I would have a few pints and lunch with my brother. I have visited the Fat Cat over the years and still enjoy the atmosphere and of course the beer. As branch chairman I’m not supposed to have favourites, but I like the Fat Cat!”
Congratulations once again to Duncan, Diane, Ed and everyone involved with the Fat Cat over the years on their magnificent achievement. Here’s to a few more years!