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Epic pub crawl sees woman visit 1,000 Wetherspoons

It has taken 23 years but a woman has succeeded in her bid to visit more than 1,000 Wetherspoon pubs, having propped up the bar at 1,018 branches of the pub chain.

Mags Thomson. Credit: Wetherspoon

Mags Thomson, 68, began her Wetherspoon pub odyssey in Reading in 1994, having popped in a pub to pass the time while accompanying her late husband and railway enthusiast Ian on one of his station jaunts. That pub was the Monk’s Retreat.

“My husband was a railway enthusiast,” she said, speaking to the BBC. “We used to go on holiday and spend a lot of time standing on platforms.

“To begin with, it was quite interesting. But it soon got very cold and boring, so I thought I’d have a look around Reading. I came across this pub. I phoned my husband and said: ‘Why don’t we meet here?'”

Realising it was part of a chain, and having clearly enjoyed their experience, Mags and Ian set themselves a challenge – to visit every Wetherspoon pub in the country.

As it stands, Mags has visited 1,018 Wetherspoon pubs, including many that have since closed, with the official number of Wetherspoon pubs in the UK currently standing at 895.

Ian sadly died in 2010, having made it to 708 Wetherspoon outposts, but Mags intends to carry on the tradition, as the chain continues to expand.

Five new Wetherspoon pubs are set to open this year alone, including its Royal Victoria Pavilion “super pub” branch in Ramsgate, Kent – its biggest yet – housed in a listed former seafront casino and dance hall.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “Mags is a fantastic lady. She loves Wetherspoon and we love her. We know that she thoroughly enjoys visiting our pubs and we hope she continues to do so for many years to come.”

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