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Issue 57 - Pilgrim's progress

Whisky Magazine Issue 57
July 2006


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Pilgrim's progress

The Pilgrim Fathers who left the area for North America via Holland may or may have approved, but the East Midlands is now home to a thriving whisky shop. Richard Jones reports

Adversity is the first path to truth,” wrote Lord Byron “and especially if that path leads to your own whisky shop,” he might well have added.

It's fair to say that Christmas 2004 in the Henfield household wasn't the jolliest on record. After spending most of his working life in Further and Higher education, Ron Henfield was made redundant from his position of college manager in the run-up to the festive season.

“It was just awful,” he admits. “But then you step back, you think and regroup with family. I've been a whisky lover, collector and anorak for far too many years and it had always been my dream to run a whisky shop. By the first week in January the plot was hatched for Mainly Malts.” Mainly Malts is situated in the small market town of Bawtry, just south of Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

The area is famous for its connections with the Pilgrim Fathers such as William Brewster who went first to Holland to escape religious persecution and then to found the Plymouth colony in North America after sailing there on board the ship Mayflower.

“We get a lot of tourists from the nearby town of Scrooby,” Ron Henfield explains.

“We're also only a few miles from the new Robin Hood Airport and people will often stay in the town before their flights.” Mainly Malts opened its doors for the first time in June 2005 and the shop is bursting with original ideas, notably their in-store seating arrangements.

“The concept is based around mine and my wife Lynn's h...

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