CAMRA Campaigner of the Year

I’m very pleased to report that Christine Cryne was a finalist in CAMRA’s Campaigner of the Year award for 2020. Christine herself did not however find out until her certificate arrived in the post one morning.

In a post on the website of the British Guild of Beer Writers, Christine commented, “I was delighted to get this award, which was given to me for all the online training and tastings I have been doing over this last year. These have been for CAMRA, of course, but also pubs, such as the Little Green Dragon in Enfield and breweries like Pitchfork during their online beer festival. It was a great way to get people engaged, particularly during the full lockdowns. I worked out I have spoken to over 1,300 people, the biggest of which was at CAMRA’s Sheffield Members’ Conference tasting , where we had almost 300 tasters. Online is a great way to reach lots more people but I am really looking forward to getting back to delivering tastings and training face to face.” I think that we will all agree with that last point.

Christine is an accredited People 1st master trainer and has, in the last few years, been providing training on beer related topics including beer judging, beer and food matching, beer styles and off flavours. She also trains other trainers to deliver such courses.

Although the award focuses on Christine’s activities over the last year, she, along with husband John, has been continually active in CAMRA since her university days. She has served on the National Executive several times and has been organiser of the Great British Beer Festival, as well as being a prime mover behind the sadly missed London Drinker Beer Festival from its inception. Not for nothing does she have ten references in the index of the 50 Years of CAMRA book. This was all in addition to a highly successful professional career, latterly in the charity sector.

To this, I would like to add my particular thanks for her invaluable contributions to this magazine, as well as her advice and encouragement over the years. I apologise if this reads like an obituary; it most certainly isn’t. I’m sure that there is still much more to come.

Christine was not however the overall winner of the competition. That honour went to Paul Ainsworth, who is CAMRA’s National Planning Policy Advisor and chairs its Pubs Heritage Group. Paul’s expert knowledge of planning legislation has enabled him to make a massive contribution to the saving of many pubs. He is a friend of Christine’s and she added, “I didn’t mind losing to such a worthy winner who has done so much for communities.”