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Everything about Bill O’Hagan is big: his belly, proud testament to Man’s valiant attempt to drink pubs dry; his heart, a dark mystery to medical science; his love of life, of fellowship, of mad, bad sessions that reel from time to time across London; his knowledge of people, places, events and ephemera born of insatiable curiosity and a lifetime in journalism.

And not least, his passion for sausages, which led to his parlaying a career as journalist and part-time sausage-maker into Greenwich’s home-grown sausage baron (and sometime night editor of a major national newspaper!)

It’s hard to engage Bill in conversation without exposure to his proselytising zeal as he relates his latest sausage discovery--the result of tasting an obscure Belgian beer at a Real Ale festival, perhaps, or of attending a traditional pig-slaughter in rural Spain, or of a recent trip to Cape Town or Dublin to launch some new sausage-related venture. Oh, and how he won this year the coveted trophy for Best Sausage Maker in Britain--sponsored by the Meat and Livestock Commission.

A former Byass “Food Merchant of the Year”, Bill was first in Greenwich to launch a product celebrating the Millennium--modestly styled “The Millennium Sausage”. In his life-long pursuit of the next sausage he has garnered what is probably the world’s largest collection of sausage recipes and lore: there will surely be a book one day, followed by a film, followed by...a World Sausage Day?

His original corner shop still stands in East Greenwich--now a fast-food outlet.

 


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