I was told the yeast was a special strain. Think it could be the key to the old Boddie's.
All traditional brewers like to big up the "specialness" of their yeast - and yes, it's a way more important contributor to the flavour than the typical hophead realises. As above, the really notable feature of the Boddies yeast in the "classic" period was its crazy high attenuation.
Sure I read somewhere the yeast was changed somewhere along the way.
It's hard to tell what is myth and what's not. There doesn't seem to be evidence in the attenuation recorded during the late 70s/ early 80s that the yeast changed during the period when "Boddies went wrong". Ron's found a note of their yeast in the 1920s coming from Tadcaster, and they had to start again from scratch with yeast from Tadcaster after they were bombed in WWII, so the idea that they lost their yeast may date to then.
It's also known that the Boddies yeast didn't take to being contract-brewed at Hyde's so they switched, presumably to using the Hyde's yeast instead.
Then there's Wyeast 1318 London Ale III, which the USians are convinced is the Boddies yeast. Genetic analysis suggests it's just another Whitbread yeast - it's closely related to Wyeast 1098 - and it's clearly not the diastatic yeast of Boddies' heyday. My personal suspicion is that it originated in a bottle of Boddies Pub Ale, which is their export variant briefly sold in the UK as Boddies Export, brewed at a Whitbread brewery with a Whitbread yeast, some time after Strangeways closed.