Welcome to a ‘Summer of Pub’

I am well aware that much of our coverage of news about pubs is on the gloomy side. I make no apologies for that; like many of my CAMRA colleagues, I feel strongly that the unfair, cynical and money-grasping activities of the big (and some smaller…) pub owning businesses need to be brought to the attention of as many people as possible, not least you, the pub-goer.  

That said, let us not forget the reason why we strive to save and protect pubs; we like them, what they stand for and the beer that they serve. They are the hub of many local communities, hosting a huge range of enjoyable social events. There is, in my humble opinion, nothing (well, almost) better than having a few good pints in good company and if you look at the item about the increase in activity in the night-time economy on page 18, I’m not alone.  

CAMRA has launched a new campaign, the ‘Summer of Pub’ (a paraphrase of the ‘Summer of Love’). The thinking behind the campaign is to increase pub-going over the summer and to demonstrate the importance of Britain’s pubs, as well as to highlight how CAMRA’s national and local campaigning can work well together. Of course we must continue to campaign for pubs but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun while we do it. If at the same time we can raise CAMRA’s profile as a positive, forward-thinking and fun organisation to join, then so much the better.

The campaign will be officially launched on the late May Bank Holiday on 27 May and events will be held on significant dates throughout the summer, including Beer Day Britain on 15 June and the Women’s World Cup (7 June to 7 July). Look out for details. The campaign will close on the August Bank Holiday, 26 August. You can find details of events happening throughout the period on www.camra.org/summerofpub.

I have asked CAMRA’s branches across Greater London each to nominate a pub with a nice garden or outside area. Obviously the outer areas are more likely to have pubs with gardens but I thought that readers would prefer a spread across the whole of London. These local recommendations are listed below.

Blacksmiths ArmsCudham Lane South, Cudham TN14 7QB Festooned with flowers and has a delightful garden
Builders Arms65 Leslie Park Road, Croydon CR0 6TP Secluded garden at the rear – a hidden gem of Croydon
Constitution42 St Pancras Way, Camden Town NW1 0QTCanalside; multiple winner of ‘Camden in Bloom’ award
Duke of Edinburgh204 Ferndale Road, Brixton SW9 8AG Surprising rear garden
Old OrchardJacks Lane, Harefield UB9 6HJStunning views across the Colne Valley
Orange Tree18 Highfield Road, Winchmore Hill N21 3HA Prize winning garden by the New River Walk
Plume of Feathers19 Park Vista, Greenwich SE10 9LZLots of flowers and an attractive garden
Union Tavern45 Woodfield Road, Maida Vale W9 2BACanalside terrace
White SwanRiverside, Twickenham TW1 3DNViews across the river – mind the tide
Wych Elm93 Elm Road, Kingston KT2 6HT Attractive garden

You will find full details of all of these pubs, including travel advice and opening times, on CAMRA’s WhatPub database – see page 43 for details. Sadly, the one important aspect of this campaign that we cannot control is the weather; let’s just hope that at some point the sun shines. When it does, enjoy! If it doesn’t then sit inside…

Tony Hedger