A wheely good new year pub crawl

By Mark Andrews | Shrewsbury | Dining out | Published: | Last Updated:

It was a wheely good pub crawl for two beer buffs who took part in a new-year charity wheelchair race taking in five hostelries.

Peter Benbow, in blue, and Dave 'Jenka' Jenks in red, outside the Albion Vaults at the start of their race

In the red corner was Dave 'Jenka' Jenks, bar manager at the Albion Vaults in Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury, who has been a wheelchair user since having a leg amputated last year. In the blue corner was regular customer Peter Benbow, as the pair were joined by their friends who gave them a helping hand by pushing them from bar to bar.

The duo were tasked with downing a pint in each one and playing a record on the jukebox.

Pete, who is known to regulars simply as 'Benbow', has been in a wheelchair for more than 20 years, while Jenka lost his right leg last year after being diagnosed with a blood clot.

After leaving the Albion at 1pm on New Year's Day, they headed first to The Telegraph in Castlefields, then to The Brick in Abbey Foregate, followed by the Prince of Wales in Bynner Street and the Seven Stars in Coleham Head, before crossing the English Bridge for a push up Wyle Cop, and back to the Albion.

As they and their helpers travelled from pub to pub, they also sold tickets for a raffle in aid of mobility and stroke charities.

Chris Jones, who owns the Albion, said the event would raise money for The Movement Centre, a Shropshire-based charity which provides therapy for children with mobility problems.

He said the raffle would be held at 3pm on Sunday, and tickets were still available. He said as well as raising money for charity, the event also aimed to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by disabled pub-goers.

"Everyone was a little tired by the end, the push up Wyle Cop was particularly difficult," he said.

"It was a very good exercise in making people aware of the difficulties people in wheelchairs can have in getting into pubs, and it is something we plan to repeat every year."

Jenka emerged the victor in the race, although Chris said this was in part due to his wheelchair being easier for his team to push.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.


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