Revealed: 'Bloke From Hull' behind mystery pub calling cards
HE IS the mystery visitor to pubs, leaving just an empty glass and a calling card.
Landlords only know him as the Bloke From Hull, from the cartoon cards he leaves wherever he goes.
Today, we can unmask the mystery beer connoisseur as David Litten, of east Hull's Garden Village.
A volunteer with the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), he has distributed more than 1,000 cards across the country and is the topic of much debate on pub-themed internet chat rooms.
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"I was a regular at the Bonhommes Bar in Filey but the landlord, Kristian Rhodes, couldn't remember my name so only knew me as the Bloke From Hull," said David, 55.
"He always knew me as that, so that is where the name comes from.
"Then in about 2009 I started doing the cards and leaving them in pubs.
"It's spiraled from there."
David, a retired scientific archivist, shares information and reviews of local pubs to interested people in the Yorkshire area.
He first started signing his e-mails as the Bloke From Hull before moving on to the calling cards.
He said: "I then thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a little logo or cartoon underneath my name?
"My artist friend Christine Joplin did the design for me and I started leaving the cards in pubs I visited.
"They don't have my name or contact information on. They're just supposed to make people smile and add a little bit of mystery."
David's designs have varied over the months, to tie in with specific occasions.
Some of the cards see Cartoon David wearing a festive Christmas hat or reindeer antlers, while others feature Union flags, a red nose or something linked to the pub he is in.
David has also dreamed up variations for Valentine's Day, Yorkshire Day, birthdays, royal events, sporting events and individual breweries and pubs.
His range of token mementos have since branched out into badges, posters and even wrapping paper for friends' birthdays.
About 700 badges have been given out and countless cards have been left at pubs across the region.
On his birthday in October 2009, David's partner Maggie had four T-shirts produced, bearing the now familiar cartoon.
David says of the calling cards: "I'll often go back to a pub and see they have displayed them on the walls.
"About 90 per cent of people just find it funny and it makes them smile.
"One or two people think I have an ego problem though.
"It's just a crazy thing I do."
David has taken his passion for pints to the pumps and had two beers made for him at a micro-brewery in Huddersfield.
Bloke From Hull beer was made in 2010, while this year he had Mrs Bloke beer brewed in tribute to his partner, Maggie Morris, 62.
Maggie died on August 2 after losing her battle with ovarian cancer.
David has also had a cider brewed in her honour called Maggie In Bloom.
David said: "The Mrs Bloke beer was used at the Huddersfield Beer Festival and it was the first one to run out."
David finds that although his calling cards are anonymous, his friends are more than eager to let people know who the mystery pub visitor really is.
He said: "When I go to meet friends and they are with people I don't know, by the time I arrive they've already told the story.
"They say 'he's the Bloke From Hull' and tell them all about the little cards."