CAMRA news and events

London Region annual general meeting

All branches comprising CAMRA’s Greater London region were represented at our AGM, held on 31 March via Zoom, with four other regional directors and two National Executive members in attendance as observers. Final accounts for both 2019 and 2020 were approved. It had not been possible to arrange an AGM last year.

Geoff Strawbridge was reappointed regional director. Dave Lands of Croydon & Sutton branch takes over from John Cryne (North London) as chairman. Steve Silcock (South East London) is now regional treasurer. Roy Tunstall (West Middlesex) was elected to the new position of deputy regional director.

Vacancies remain for a Regional Finance Officer and a minutes secretary for the regional meetings which are now likely to be held every two months. Would members interested in either of these desirable team roles please contact Geoff at geoff@swl.camra.org.uk. Guidance will be given.

Beer festival news

Given the uncertainty about the rules for large events, CAMRA’s Richmond & Hounslow branch decided in April that they would not stage a Twickenham Beer Festival this year. The branch is however looking to have some other events later in the year, aimed at getting people back into pubs.

The St Albans Beer Festival is planning something similar. As they explain on their website, “After the devastation caused by COVID, we’ve decided that encouraging people back into pubs must be the priority this time around. Safeguarding the future of community pubs is a key part of CAMRA’s mission and, in this 50th anniversary of the Campaign, we want to put that into practice more than ever before. For anyone used to our previous festivals in the Alban Arena, this will be quite different but it will be just as exciting.” The details are currently being finalised and details will be posted on their website: https://stalbansbeerfestival.org.uk/.

Learn & Discover

Author Laura Hadland made two recent contributions to CAMRA’s on-line learning platform, arising from her book 50 Years of CAMRA. The first is Women in CAMRA, which explores not only women’s pivotal role in the evolution and history of CAMRA but the wider story of women’s fight for equality, respect and against the ‘prudish moralising against women who make or enjoy beer’. The second is a detailed history of CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain (CBoB) awards, which are, arguably, some of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world.

There are many more items of interest on the site. Go to the Learn and Discover zone and take a look. There are three categories, ‘The Basics’, ‘Learn More’ and ‘Discover’. ‘The Basics’ is open to all but the others are available to CAMRA members only.

Can you help our historic pubs?

CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group maintains the Pub Heritage website and they desperately need help with updating these vital records. Firstly, they need to keep track of which pubs are reopening and which are remaining shut post lockdown. Initially this is focusing on the 500 pubs with the most important historic interiors. Secondly, the contact details for each pub as recorded on the website need checking. This includes social media links. Facebook details have recently been added. These details, along with phone numbers, website and email addresses, have been taken from WhatPub but, sadly, they are nowhere near 100% accurate and so they need verification. This exercise is being co-ordinated by Mick Slaughter. If you are interested, please e-mail him at m.slaughter7@btinternet.com and he will brief you further on what is required. Any help will be very much appreciated.

Mick, himself an excellent photographer, also made this request for photographers: “There are many pubs on the Historic Pub Interiors website that are in need of exterior images with the sun on the front of the pub and a blue sky background; also well lit interior ones showing historic fittings, although if they are not ‘well lit’ I can, with permission of the photographer, tweak them using Photoshop.” Again, if you would like to help, please contact Mick.

If you have any news about your local Heritage Pubs, please send it to info@pubheritage.camra.org.uk.

The Pomona Award

Named after the goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, this CAMRA award is presented to a person, group, organisation, idea or concept (where a recipient can be identified) that has made an outstanding achievement, commitment, or contribution to the promotion of real cider or perry. The primary consideration is given to activities over the previous twelve months. However, where there is no outstanding contender in this category, consideration is then given to any outstanding work in this field. Nominations are open until 1 August and should be made using the nomination form on the CAMRA website (https://camra.org.uk/beer-and-cider/awards/pomonaawards/pomona-award-nominations/). People cannot be nominated for contributions made for or within CAMRA and cider makers or pubs are not eligible simply for making or selling cider.

Pub quiz league

One of the great pub activities that is simply not the same on-line is the pub quiz. We have been contacted by Mark Cooper, the chairman of the Quiz League of London (QLL), to say that planning is now underway for their Summer Friendly League on the assumption that pubs are allowed to reopen indoors. QLL have made arrangements with five of their regular venues that are happy to host the return of live quizzing. These are the Calthorpe Arms (Grays Inn Road), the Sheephaven Bay (Camden), the Duke of Sussex (Waterloo), the Carpenters Arms (Marble Arch) and the White Hart (Southwark). They hope to start in late June. More details are available on the QLL’s website www.quizleagueoflondon.co.uk.

Hackney celebrates the reopening

The Hackney Tap, a conversion from the Grade II-listed former Hackney Town Hall on Mare Street (E8 1HR), opened for the first time when the third lockdown ended on 12 April. To celebrate the event, Vincent Stops, a member of CAMRA’s East London & City branch and a member of Hackney Council, paid a visit in the company of the Speaker of Hackney, Councillor Kam Adams. Vincent (left) was also joined by Jonathan Dalton of Bloomsbury Leisure, who also operate the Euston, Farringdon and Waterloo Taps plus a number of other pubs in London and elsewhere.