As many people enjoy the long Easter weekend with a few drinks in the sun, they’ll be glad to hear that a man who’s completed the world’s longest pub crawl believes drinking beer is the secret to eternal youth.
Bruce Masters, 74, has just been given a Guinness World Record for visiting 51,695 pubs in the UK over the last 50 years.
The granddad believes it’s thanks to his love of pubs and beer that many people mistake him for 60 rather than 74.
He started his marathon pub crawl when he was 15, when a pint cost just a shilling. Though now he reckons he’s spent about £120,000 on the crawl over the fives decades since.
Though his daughters have asked him to slow down, Bruce has no plans on stopping now, and still intends to visit as many pubs as possible.
When I ask people how old they think I am they’re always about 14 years out. It must be the good effect of beer – the preservatives.
I’m planning to be a centenarian anyway so I can’t imagine how many pubs I’ll have visited by then – I’m hoping to never stop. Some people my age aren’t able to get around as much, but I walk quite a lot when I’m out and about so that keeps me active too.
My daughters do nag me sometimes and say ‘Dad, don’t you think it’s time you slowed down a bit!’ I say ‘no way!’ I plan to just keep going forever – who knows what number I could get up to.
Speaking about the record-breaking pub crawl, Bruce said:
I originally started counting in 1971 and I remembered the ones I’d done from 1960.
The idea [of visiting as many pubs as possible] occurred to me when, funnily enough, I was sitting in a pub. I decided that would be my hobby there and then – not many girls are attracted to steam engines, after all.
I was working for British Rail and after work I’d go and blitz a few areas of London. Being in London, where there are around 6,000 pubs, I decided I wanted to try them all.
Bruce was made redundant 20 years ago, so decided he would devote more time to his hobby, saying he’s ‘been on my pub finding missions ever since’.
He averages around 1,000 pubs a year, or 20 a week, and says he usually only has half a pint in each place, which sounds wise.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.