MOST Wetherspoon pubs are named after local luminaries that never existed, it has emerged.
Landlords are told to invent characters like Arnold Haspler, supposedly the first man to fly upside-down across the Bristol channel, and Ernest Gibbo ‘the inventor of the shoe horn’ and name their pubs after them to create a veneer of historical respectability.
Bill McKay, manager of the Colin Appleby, said: “I’m in Reading, nobody important comes from Reading.
“So I named the boozer after a kid I went to school with, then said that he was the first man in Europe to put a tablecloth on the ground for picnics.
“The full story’s above the urinals. Nobody ever reads it.”
Other fraudulently-named hostelries include Norwich’s Chuck Torrance, supposedly named after the man who discovered that holding in flatulence can be fatal, and Newcastle’s Wayne Hayes named after ‘the UK’s first female prime minister’.
A Wetherspoon spokesman said: “We just thought we were giving people a little bit more pride in where they’re from. These fictional historical luminaries are like Father Christmas – a myth designed to bring a little cheer into an otherwise bleak environment.”