Bill Layton of St. Leonards died at the end of October, Bill had been an active member of CAMRA who until he could no longer make it was always to be found offering assistance at beer festivals. He was a bar manager at the inaugural Eastbourne Beer Festival in 2002, his comprehensive knowledge of beers proving an asset. The CAMRA policy to allow tasters at beer festivals appalled Bill, he would say, ‘We are here to sell the stuff, not give it away’. He had strong views about which beers and breweries he liked, which earned him the nickname ‘Bloody Harvey’s’.
When CAMRA set up the website which has details of all pubs and their beers, Bill undertook to visit all the pubs in Hastings and St Leonards to collect their details. His bus pass had plenty of use and he did an excellent job much of which has remained little changed today.
Having completed that task he announced that he was ‘retiring’ from ‘active service’ and would meet up with the other members only when they visited his favourite Tower and other nearby pubs. We marked the occasion by presenting him with a certificate to ‘Bill Bl**dy H*rv*y’s Layton’ at a social in the Tower and buying him drinks all evening.
Bill was BLO for a brewery no longer in existence based in Battle called Fallen Angel, mostly producing bottled beer sold at markets, etc., (nothing to do with current Battle Brewery).
The Tower will not be the same, Rest in Peace, Bill.