All at Sheffield and District CAMRA mourn the loss of Eddy Munnelly and send our condolences to his family and friends, especially Pat Wilson, the other half of ‘Pat and Eddy’.
Eddy started running pubs at the East House (subsequently Morrisseys East House) with his friend Brian Morrissey. Later he moved on to the Wortley Arms along with Pat and then to Morrisseys Riverside.
In 1998 he and Pat bought The Gardeners Rest at Neepsend, a Mansfield pub that had been closed for a short while. Building up trade from scratch purely on their reputation for serving well kept Real Ales and hosting regular live music evenings, the pub was soon established on the real ale circuit, with the local CAMRA pub of the year award being won in 2000. If you were lucky enough to be there when the blackout curtains were drawn and the front door locked, you knew you were in for a ‘lock in’ and that’s when lock ins were a thing!
In 2006, Eddy and I started the Sheffield Brewery along with local business owner Peter Rawlinson. Apart from a slight hiccup when both the Gardeners and the Brewery were badly flooded in 2007, the brewery flourished, winning over 20 awards. In 2011 the brewery brewed the cask ale for the Tramlines festival. Eddy hosted many brewery tours with pie and peas suppers and it was also the venue for parties and four weddings. At one time 6 to 8 18s from the FIVE RIVERS, SEVEN HILLS, BLANCO BLONDE and CRUCIBLE BEST core range were delivered to the Gardeners weekly, along with a couple of 9s each of SHEFFIELD PORTER and the monthly special.
Famous for his range of flamboyant waistcoats, Eddy was a keen historian and the pub hosted several local history groups as well as showcasing the work of local artists. Eddy was also instrumental in establishing the Upper Don Walk and took groups along the river delving into Neepsend’s industrial and brewing traditions. Sheffield City Morris made the Gardeners their home after practice and he was keen to promote them; there was also a popular Sunday night quiz. Eddy was always a supporter of the wider community, believing there was a place for everyone. He supported those who would otherwise find it difficult to find work, Gary who cleaned the pub for 20 years and Andy who washed barrels at the brewery were just two.
In 2017, Eddy decided to retire for a life on the ocean waves, well the historic waterways of England. Our shares in the brewery were sold to Peter, who was keen to take it forward in a different direction. The pub was bought by the regulars, keen to continue what Pat and Eddy had built up, and they set sail on their narrowboat. He could be a grumpy sod at times but we loved him all the same.