Death tragedy at Lewes ale festival

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A MAN collapsed and died at the 15th South Downs Beer and Cider Festival at Lewes Town Hall.

The tragedy happened at about 3pm. The man, who has not been named, is believed to have been in his seventies and from Tunbridge Wells.

It is understood he suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Staff debated whether the remainder of the festival should be abandoned. But it continued at the insistence of a group of friends the victim had been attending with “because he was a real ale stalwart and it would have been what he wanted”.

Festival organiser Peter Coppard paid tribute to the St John Ambulance staff on duty at the Town Hall. “They were absolutely wonderful and did everything they could,” he said.