beer around ere issue 167
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DESCRIPTIONThe post Beer Festival issue of Peterborough CAMRA magazine Beer Around Ere
Issue 167 | October - November
Peterborough & District Branch of CAMRA | www.peterborough-camra.org.uk
Beer Around Ere
baeFREEplease take one
Another GreatBeer Fest! photo diary inside....
Also inside Pub News Gig Guide Brewery UpdateBeer Tax e-Petition reaches 100,000 signatures
Peterborough Branch Website |www.real-ale.org.uk
We are told that this year has been theworst year for wet weather for ahundred or more years. Wellsomeone also must have taken pity on our localbranch area and, also realized that for sevenyears running the PBF (Peterborough BeerFestival) has suffered pretty rotten damp weatherevery year. Lo, the sun shone, the people didntget soaked and we had no conditions somewhatlike trench warfare. Yes I know it chucked itdown on Saturday but, we can cope with a bit ofrain and anyway the PBF thrives on a bit of wet.
For you keen stat watchers all the results andfigures are in this issue. At the end of the day wehad a great festival -one of the best for manyyears and, to date most of the feedback hasbeen positive. Thank you to all of you who camealong and supported us.
A discussion with an old friend recently (mostof my friends are past their sell by date but stillreal friends), came up with the topic of towncentres being no-go places at weekends. Thiscame as a surprise to me due to him havingbeen an avid pub customer in many city pubsfor as long as I had known him. He had swallowed the hype put out by the governmentand followed up by the media, that our citycentres are jammed with fighting, vomiting,vandalising yobs who are only hell bent oncausing trouble. We ventured into one or twowell known city watering holes and he had toagree that we saw no trouble of that kind at all.Im not denying there is some trouble at week-ends in city and town centres. Very rarely doesthis occur before the magical midnight hour,when all us Cinderellas have to be home. At midnight the clubs are just getting into fullflow, and without a doubt noise levels increase,the odd handbags are drawn, and then the nastyelement who cant drink without wanting to fightthe world, come out of their holes. We asresponsible drinkers should not tolerate the liesthat are being cast about the majority of us.
Most politicians and newspaper editors have nota clue to the real scene that prevails in our towncentres, whereas we do know the true facts. Thismisconception only gives the government yetmore ammunition to increase taxes, as being theanswer to combat these problems at night. Itstime these false claims were stopped and theinterests of the majority of law abiding drinkers,and licensees, were given a fair chance in thename of good old British fair play. Maybe pigswill then fly !
We are still actively pursuing our target ofreaching 100,000 signatures for our E-petition, toget the duty escalator scrapped by theChancellor. If youve still not signed the petitionget on line to our web site, and details are onthere. We hope to reach our target by the end ofOctober. Only another 10,000 or so to go.
At this time of year we are always on the lookout for new people to come and join us to take amore active part within our organisation. Ifanyone would like to become part of our teamand become a member of our committee wewould welcome you. At the end of the year ourillustrious Pubs Officer Steve Williams has indi-cated he is stepping down from his post. Imsure we shall all miss Steves witty andhumorous reports on our local pub scene. A flair for writing to that level is not compulsoryfor anyone interested in taking on the job. Wemay also have some other posts that need to befilled. Contact me or any other committeemember.
Finally I have to say a very grateful Thank Youto all our unpaid volunteers at this years PBF.The event simply would not happen withoutyour help and dedication. Thank you all. Thatsit folks.
David Murray, Branch Chairman.
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I m sure I usually have trouble finding pubnews just after the Beer Festival as my wakinghours are occupied by other beery matters.So in this issue I was quite prepared to dig intothe bran tub of desperation and fill this spacewith a few stock stories about kittens stuck uptrees or whatever the pub related equivalent is.But then by chance I discover that weve beenoverwhelmed with pub closures. Hence, I nowhave a wealth of pub news to keep us all in adepressed state of mind to complement thedismal autumnal weather were bound to behaving as you read this.
Were all doomed, doomed I sayFirstly, as mentioned in a previous magazine, theChequers in Orton Wistow has now permanentlyclosed and will be ...wait for it... a Tesco. This willIm sure bring more business to the supermarketnext door. After all, consumer choice is a goodthing !
Our next pub to bite the dust temporarily isGoodbarns Yard to the east of the city. A pubwith lots of potential it should have a brightfuture under the right conditions.
Another temporary closure was the Dragonf ly inOrton which came and went and then came backagain. It is now trading under new management.
Meanwhile in Oundle Rd, Boro Bar has closed.Many of you will remember it as the Boys Headand its seen a variety of landlords taking thehelm. The pub has been trading as a sports barwith live music, football and lots more besidesbut unfortunately it wasnt enough.
The Westwood Hotel in Mayors Walk hasclosed and is currently covered in hoardings todisguise the fact that it's been gutted and the
front wall has been removed! Are they extendinginto the Co-op next door or are we to bepresented with another European supermarket?
The Shoulder of Mutton in Weldon is presentlyclosed which is a great shame. Hopefully we ll seeit reopen soon.
The long derelict Oatsheaf in Whittlesey hasnow been attacked by men in overalls and it lookslike the place is to be raised to the ground. Thesite is to be used for housing of some kind.
In Eye the Spade & Shovel is still closed and ismarked up as being converted to flats.
The Oak in Easton on the Hill is now closed.This was one of three pubs in the village and withstiff competition from the Exeter Arms run byMick Thurlby and the very popular communitypub the Bluebell it was unlikely to survive.
The news that the Flyers Club in Priestgatehas closed came as a bit of a surprise to me. Thiswas a private members club set up during the warfor use by returning RAF personnel on leave fromfighting goose stepping oppressors. A few yearsago, the members were asked to help finance theclub while it went through a difficult tradingperiod. This sounded odd at the time. After allisnt the club owned freehold and is free of tie? Ifind it difficult to believe that the club is financiallyunviable. We await further news and hopefully itwill reopen in the future.
A sunny outlookTo counteract this time of doom and gloom Idlike to mention a few good things.
The Solstice in Northminster Rd (behind themarket if you didnt know) has three ales on offer
Pub News| 5
6 |Pub News Continued
and members of the Beer Festival Committeewere pleasantly surprised when they had the finalmeeting there back before the August onslaught.All three ales were superb. We were granted abehind the scenes look at the new, soon to beopened beer garden. Admittedly it was just abuilding site when we had a snoop but you haveto use your imagination sometimes. I believethere may be a no smoking part of the beergarden as well which is an interesting idea. Thegarden will need a name and local citizens beenasked to come up with something suitable. Thereis an incentive of course, in this case a 100 bartab for the lucky winner to run up!
Stamford StuffThe Great Escape in Cheyne Lane (formerlyPanama Joes), has been open for a while nowand is certainly worth a visit. I havent eaten therebut the food is reportedly top-notch and ale isdispensed direct from the cask as God intended.A recent offering was Grainstore Rutland Beastat a mere 5.3%. Mine hosts are Toby and HannahAnsell and Toby regularly takes time out from barduties to tinkle the ivories this side of the bar.Look out for the open mic nights each week.
A Gold AwardThe Queens Head in Bulwick has recently beenpresented with a Gold Award and as I didntmanage to get myself on the minibus to help outwith the ceremony I thought Id give the place avisit. So, a pleasant Friday lunchtime saw me andMrs Pubs Officer trundle over to the village forrefreshments. A bank of 5 handpumps greeted usand the range was a delight. Two Oakham beers,a Digfield and a Great Oakley with a LondonPride if you fancied something from out of town.There is a separate restaurant available and anexcellent beer garden with a bit of shelter if thesun is too strong! The one thing that sticks inthe mind apart from the excellent food and beerwas that noth