An old sailor called Nelson is claiming the title of Britain’s longest-serving pub regular after going to the same local for more than EIGHTY years.
Faithful Nelson Foyle, 93, first enjoyed a tipple at the Dog & Gun when he was aged just 12 and would sneak into the cellar with the landlord’s sons.
In the decades since, ‘Lord Nelson’ has gone in several times a week – apart from a break with the Royal Navy during the war – to enjoy a few pints of his favourite bitter.
Nelson reckons he has sunk around 40,000 pints, or 5,000 gallons – the same capacity as a tanker that delivers his beer.
He started in the year of the Edward VIII abdication crisis, when Jesse Owens dominated the Berlin Olympics and the Jarrow crusaders marched on London.
Back then a pint cost 3d but now his favourite Wadworth 6X sets him back over £3 at the local in Netheravon, nr Salisbury, Wilts.
He calls it his “second home” and now goes on average three-times-a-week – usually with his son David, 62.
His long service was honoured by fellow drinkers last week who clubbed together to buy him a Lordship of the Manor title so he can now officially be called ‘Lord’ Nelson.
Great-grandad Nelson said: “It’s a big honour and I’m very proud of it – I might get a few free pints now I’m a Lord.
“I’ve been drinking at the Dog & Duck since I was 12 years old.
“I usually drink two and a half pints each time but sometimes I could have four, it depends on how many good-hearted people are in the pub at the time.
“I usually go with my son and son-in-law Steve. I sometimes go with my wife but not so much nowadays because she doesn’t like drinking so much.”
Nelson first went to the pub as a boy when he worked on a nearby dairy farm with two brothers whose father was the pub landlord at the time.
The trio used to sneak down into the cellar of the pub after school.
He recalled: “I had to go and work on a dairy farm for a few shillings with two brothers, that’s where I came to go in the Dog & Gun.
“There was a cellar in the middle of the car park and we had a few tasters of different wines.
“Back in them days, it was only three pennies for a pint. Now I’ve got to pay £3.”
He took part in the 1944 attack on Hitler’s Tirpitz battleship and in 2013 was awarded the Arctic Star medal by the Russian Government for his service on the Arctic Convoys.
After the war he worked as a JCB driver, coach driver and civilian driver for the Government and has two children and five grandchildren.
Nelson – who is losing the sight in his left eye – is married to Marina, 82, and they will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary later this year.