We ask Bristol pub-goers - will you be boycotting Thatchers cider over ‘slave trade link’?

Suggestions for a boycott prompted social media outrage - but what do pub-goers think?
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Pub-goers have reacted to calls to boycott Thatchers over claims that the cider company has ties to the slave trade.

Countering Colston, a Bristol pressure group working to dismantle the legacy of slave trader Edward Colston in the city, asked people to stop drinking Thatchers with the firm’s director Martin Thatcher a member of the Society of the Merchant Venturers.

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The group has branded the Society the ‘cult of Colston’ as the slave trader and philanthropist was a ‘prominent member’ himself hundreds of years back.

Mr Thatcher, who has been a member of the private members’ club since 2012, has responded by saying the society needs to acknowledge what has happened in the past, adding he was a ‘relative newcomer’.

But suggestions for a boycott have prompted outrage on social media, and when BristolWorld spoke to drinkers at one of the city’s pubs, they were also sceptical about the impact any boycott would have.

Some of them were even clutching pints of Thatchers cider themselves, as it’s usually ‘the only cider pubs in Bristol have’.

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Olivia said she had concerns about the effects a boycott would have on the winder company.

She said: “Thatchers as a brand is more than just the top person. I don’t think that stopping drinking it is going to change his life all that much.

Drinkers appeared sceptical about what kind of effect a boycott would have.Drinkers appeared sceptical about what kind of effect a boycott would have.
Drinkers appeared sceptical about what kind of effect a boycott would have.

“The brand is big and holds a lot of jobs, and would probably affect a lot more people than just him.”

Mollie said: “I only found out about this recently and it’s really upsetting to hear.

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“Being a university student, it’s an easy drink to get hold of.

“But I think if his background was more known a lot of people would change their mind and go for an alternative.”

Sakshmi said: “It’s my go-to drink. Although I completely agree with the boycott, it’s such a big company and the most accessible cider in Bristol pubs. Most of the time it’s the only one they have.”

Aidan said: “I don’t agree with loads of people losing their jobs over a boycott. I don’t think it’s worth it to just spite one person.”

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And Tommy said: “When you’re in a pub setting, you won’t be thinking about the political stance behind the decisions you make.”

BristolWorld has approached Countering Colston, but the group did not wish to comment.

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