Bill Arnold ran the popular real-ale Junction pub for six years before selling up in 2010, and has now turned a life-long passion for all things beer-related into a bustling new business.
“I’ve always collected pub memorabilia and I thought I’d raise a glass to our national brewing traditions,” said Mr Arnold, 61, who is from Brighton, but living in Idle, Bradford.
“It is not a wake for the death of the pubs – it’s a celebration of the past and present which are all for sale or swapping. I’ve got thousands of items and am bringing down two bags of stuff every time I come down on the bus, such as beer mats, solid metal pump clips, old bottles, etched glasses and ashtrays from the golden age of pubs.
“Many of the breweries have gone extinct – and that makes things valuable to collectors.”
Pointing to a yellow tray among dozens on his walls, he said: “That’s one for Hammonds of Bradford’s Guards Ale with the slogan ‘For That 6ft Feeling’. It’s in poorish condition, but it’s still worth £25. In good nick it would be double that.”
“I’ve got an application in for a licence so fingers crossed on that one,” he said. “It would be great to be able to support local businesses.”
Meanwhile, he is concentrating on decking every inch of his downstairs shop with treasures gathered over decades.
“Everyone is welcome to come in if they want to swap or buy anything,” he said. “I had a chap looking for a particular glass and he had exactly one I wanted so we just swapped them.”