Dave Prowse sadly passed away today. A true giant at 6 foot 6 inches tall, the man who famously played Darth Vader in the Star Wars Films.
As a young kid I remember him as the Green Cross Code Man. He taught us how to cross the road at a safe spot, and to stop, look and listen before we stepped off the kerb.
Another claim to fame was recorded at The Fleece and Firkin brew-pub in Bristol in the mid 1980’s.
The brew-pub concept was a novelty in those days. Real ale was a niche product and the majority of drinkers chose lager over anything else. However The Firkin chain had a unique selling point and that was the head splitting brew called “Dog Bolter”.
The Fleece was always a lively place, it had a big open bar and was part of the circuit of boozers you would stop in on a night out with the lads.
Today the pub has evolved into an excellent music venue and the walls are decorated with tour posters of the bands that have played there.
Back in the day the walls were hung with honours boards displaying names of those people who had drunk a gallon of Dog Bolter. It seems crazy now drinking 8 pints of high strength ale in a session, just to get your name written up on a wooden board.
There were not many names up there. A list of people where one name stood out, as it was the only one with the successful completion time written next to it.
I cannot remember the time written up there, but it must have been a record breaker. The person who drank the quickest gallon of Dog Bolter was, you guessed it, Dave Prowse.
THE SID PRESLEY EXPERIENCE
Saw these at a “Give Ireland back to the Irish Gig” (Red Wedge Tour) at the Bristol Mecca Studio 17th March 1985. I think they all wore suits with shamrocks on their lapels and were the warm up act for Billy Bragg. The band had a punk/nihilist following who all fought amongst themselves and spat a lot at the front of the crowd. Billy Bragg was his usual passionate self – whilst stopping short of being a true angry young man. I remember Billy kept on breaking strings on his guitar as he was playing so hard and also thinking back the other support act was Porky the Poet aka Phil Jupitus.
As for the venue The Studio was a big disco/nightclub which was one of many dives around the City Centre. It was one of the sort of places that just do not exist anymore.
Nightclubs and the old boozers of my youth in Bristol are described in Mark’s fantastic Blog at twiglet.com