The next CAMRA Sheffield & District Branch Meeting will take place at Fagan’s on Tuesday 6 December. During the evening, we will be presenting, the licensees, Tom and Barbara Boulding, with a Special Award in recognition of their contribution to the Sheffield Beer scene.

Originally known as the Barrel, Fagan’s dates from circa 1790 and is one of the oldest pubs in central Sheffield. Past owners include Thomas Rawson and Company, from 1946, Gilmour’s Windsor and from 1954, Joshua Tetley. It is currently managed by Star Bars and Inns. This traditional three-roomed pub retains much of an early 1950s refit. This merits inclusion on the national CAMRA Pub heritage listings: this is a pub with Special National Historic Interest. In August this year, this Good Beer Guide pub was included on the South Yorkshire Local Heritage List.

In the past 100 years, there have been three long-standing licensees: locally-born and ex-Bomber Command, Michael Joseph (Joe) Fagan ran the pub from 6 July 1948 until 17 September 1985 becoming Tetley’s longest serving landlord. On his retirement, aged 64, the pub was renamed, and a new sign was erected. This was replaced, in 2008, with a sign which shows an image of Joe against an RAF bomber. Joe died only a few weeks after passing on the tenancy to ex-teacher, Thomas Patrick (Tom) Boulding and his wife, Barbara.

For over 37 years, Tom and Barbara have carefully managed Fagan’s. Décor-wise, every picture tells a story: visitors to the pub, local happenings, the story of Joe. Entertainment-wise, (probably) the most-stretching pub quiz in the city and (almost every evening) traditional live music. Atmospheric and welcoming, this is a traditional pub and proud of it: good solid pub-food and three well-kept cask beers (Landlord, Moonshine and Tetley’s). Outside, the pub was honoured when, in 2013, local artist, Pete McKee left The Snog on the gable end.

In late November 2022, Tom and Barbara overtook the length of tenure enjoyed by Joe (37 years, two months and 11 days). For their influential and unstinting contribution over many years, they fully deserve this award.

We wish them well in their future ventures.

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