Have yourself a Skill-ful
ARTHUR Skill, a 19-year-old Nottinghamian, owned a fish lorry. The year was 1919, and with the early morning rounds completed, Arthur found that more could be made of it carrying people to work – and so began Skills Coaches, the Nottingham travel company that has carried hundreds of thousands of travellers and holiday-makers across the UK and Europe.
Last year alone it took 12,000 people to over 200 destinations.
To mark its 100th anniversary, and celebrate its remarkable founder and his achievements, Nottingham’s Castle Rock Brewery is making Arthur Skill, a 4.2 percent coffee stout, their first Nottinghamian Celebration Ale of 2019.
Nigel Skill, the company chairman and Simon Skill, finance director, are the founder’s grandsons. Their sons, Tom and Rupert carry on in the business.
Nigel says: “My grandad was quite a character, and it’s a joy for all of us in the family to carry on his ideals of service and quality. I couldn’t be more proud to see how far the Skills Group has grown as a local-based company since my grandfather founded the business in 1919, and it’s an honour to still be a part of that journey today with my brother Simon and our great friend, Pete Hallam, by our side.
“In the year Skills celebrates its 100 years it’s a delight to be able to raise a toast to Arthur, as well as our friends, family and loyal customers who we’d be nothing without.”
Lewis Townsend, who manages the Nottinghamian Celebration series, says: “For Arthur Skill’s stout, we’re going on an interesting trip with an ale that incorporates lactose, in the form of milk sugar, and locally roasted coffee. The resulting beer will be coffee-led, with extra body and depth of taste from the lactose and malt, and a hint of bitterness from the hops.
“And it’ll be fresh, as Simon and Rupert have added the roasted beans directly into the brew as it matures,” he says. The ale will be the 34th in Castle Rock’s celebration series and will be followed by other beers for Notts women and men who’ve done their bit in the performing arts, football, and science.