Meat Raffle and the Albert Tatlock Negotiators

"Would you like a ticket for Meat Raffle?"

Good Friday of the Easter Bank Holiday festival at one of my almost-locals, the Holly Bush Inn in Makeney. I'd been drinking steadily for several hours. Thornbridge's imperial IPA, Halcyon, was being spliced into Thornbridge's black IPA, Wild Raven. A cask and keg shotgun marriage.

"Um... pardon?"

"Would you like a ticket for Meat Raffle?"

Meat Raffle? A resurgent grindcore band playing at the pub later on? Or a play maybe, satirising the recent horse-in-food-chain debacle?

"It's a raffle. For meat".

Now, that makes sense.

I remember meat raffles in pubs but hadn't come across one for years. I thought they had gone the same way as the bloke selling cockles late on a Saturday or the Sally Army lady selling War Cry. Although I suspect that they still do the rounds of pubs somewhere.

Do I want a ticket? Hell yeah! The Holly Bush has its meat supplied by Owen Taylor, a quality local butcher.

"It's two pounds a strip. Write your name and phone number on the back. We'll call you if you win".

That's when my five-pint lack of logic kicks in.

"Don't I need a ticket? 

The reply was surprisingly patient.

"No... because you write your name on the back of this one. We keep the ticket, draw a winner and then call you".

IPA clearly leads me into fuzzy logic.

"So how do I know if I've won?"

She's deadpan.

"We call you. You write your phone number on the ticket. Then we can call you".

It finally makes sense to my IPA brain. I buy a strip of tickets and get back to cod-mixology.

And a week later I get a call to say I've won a pack of sirloin steaks. Which made for a cracking Sunday supper.

Apologies to whoever has a phone number similar to mine and took a call about winning a meat raffle. Apparently I didn't write my number down very clearly. After an afternoon of mixing IPA. Funny, that.

As for the Albert Tatlock Negotiators, they're not really relevant to this post but will have at least some tangential bearing to the next one. I just wanted to give them a mention today because I like their name.


  1. My favorite sign outside a pub, as seen in eastern Canada around 1999, was "Play Darts For Meat!"

  2. there are at least a couple of pubs in south hants that still do weekly meat raffles.