Branch & Local News 2019
A reminder to all local CAMRA members that they are now able to vote for the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Pub of the Year for 2019. This is the award first introduced in 2018 (and won last year by the Guild Ale House, Preston) that is open to be voted on by local CAMRA members from a selection of pubs that have been chosen by the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch committee.
From nominations submitted by local branch members, the committee have decided that this year there are five candidates for the award as follows:-
We look forward to receive your vote, but don't worry as you still have plenty of time. Votes will be accepted until February 28th 2019. For more information about the award, and how to submit your vote, go to the Pub of the Year 2019 webpage.
On January 24th CAMRA Central Lancashire held a branch social at the Dog Inn, Longridge , and with local members having travelled from Preston and the Chorley area it was encouraging that there was such a good turnout on the night. The social had been arranged as the Dog Inn had been chosen as CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's Pub of the Season for Winter 2018/19. An award which those present considered to be well deserved, pictured above is branch Chairman Dave Bell, about to hand over the certificate to the Dog Inn reception committee.
. . . . . . .
Congratulations go to the Market Tavern, Preston on being chosen as the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's Cider Pub of the Year for 2019. The Market Tap becomes the fifth recipient of this award, and it is the first pub in Preston to be so recognised. It will now go forward as the branch's nomination for the West Pennines Cider Pub of the Year award.
On February 21st CAMRA Central Lancashire held a branch social at the Bar 47, Higher Walton. For this second branch social of the year there was a good turnout of local members, several of whom were making their first visit to this micropub which opened just six months ago. The main reason for the social was the George Lee Memorial Trophy presentation which took place on the night. The winners of the GLMT award for 2018-19 are Haydn & Angela Williams, owners of the Crankshaft Brewery and its principle outlet - the Cann Bridge Ale House. Pictured above is Angela (with the GLMT certificate) and Haydn (with the GLMT shield), while in the background CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Chairman Dave Bell looks on after making the presentation.
. . . . . . .
This year it started on December 1st, and after going on for all of three months, at long last voting for the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Pub of the Year for 2019 is now over. Thankyou to all local CAMRA members who took the time to cast their vote, once again the Pub of the Year can be said to have been chosen by an overall branch decision. As those local members who receive the emAle newsletter will already know the winning pub was the Moorbrook, Preston. Congratulations go to Richard Fisher-Godwin and his staff, the Moorbrook becomes only the second Pub of the Year to be chosen by an open vote of local CAMRA branch members. In second place (for the second year running, and again not too far behind) was the Malt 'n' Hops, Chorley. The Moorbrook will now go forward as the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch nomination for the overall Lancashire Pub of the Year. The Pub of the Year presentation will be taking place at the Moorbrook on April 25th. On the night we look forward to see some of the many local members who voted for the Moorbrook.
The first week of March has seen the appearance of Ale Cry 122, the Spring 2019 edition of the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch quarterly magazine. Again it is a 32 page issue, which we hope that you will find to be crammed full of interesting articles and important news items etc. The branch's George Lee Memorial Trophy winners for 2018-19, Haydn & Angela Williams of the Bar 47, Higher Walton, are pictured on the front page, and inside there is also an article about this annual award. The Tap And Vine, Penwortham is revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season winner, while there is also an enlightening feature on the recently opened Plau, Preston. As usual this Ale Cry also includes plenty of local news in the Chorley Chatter, Preston Parade, and South Ribble Scene articles. Copies of Ale Cry 122 will be available from pubs and clubs throughout the branch area in the coming weeks.
Penwortham got its second micropub on March 15th with the opening of the Barrel & Bean Co, Penwortham. Located in Lower Penwortham on Leyland Road, the premises were previously occupied by Serenni & Co, a beauty and tanning salon. The Barrel & Bean Co has three handpumps, and initially has been selling three beers from the Three B's Brewery. It is also a café/bar and has food available all day plus there is a good selection of ice creams.
Staying with Penwortham, and on Thursday March 28th CAMRA Central Lancashire branch members were meeting up at the Tap And Vine, Penwortham for the monthly branch social. With a good turn out on the night, it was always going to be a tight squeeze, but everyone was in agreement that this micropub had been a great choice for the branch's Spring 2019 Pub of the Season award. Pictured above are Debbie and Jason Colles shortly after they had been presented with the Pub of the Season certificate by CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Chairman Dave Bell.
Finally for March, and here are a few news snippets. First, Preston has a new real ale outlet in the Preston Rock n' Bowl on Greenbank Street. Yes, there are two handpumped beers now on sale at this 10 pin bowling alley which was formerly known as the MFA Bowl. Second, and also in Preston, there is another new real outlet in Baker Street, Preston (pictured above). This is the name of the pub which was known in past years as Maguires Tavern and Gastons. A third new real ale outlet in the branch area is Applejacks, Longridge. This is a new micropub established in the former Applejacks greengrocery store on Berry Lane.
. . . . . . .
More good news from Haydn & Angela Williams with the opening this month of the Crankshaft Brewery Tap, Leyland at their brewery premises in an industrial unit on Boxer Place (just off Comet Road). As you would expect the brewery tap has limited opening times, being open only on Fridays and Saturdays and only from 12noon to 9pm. An interesting departure for the branch's current George Lee Memorial Trophy holders, at the same site they also have a shop selling Crankshaft Brewery bottled beers, etc.
On April 25th a good number of local CAMRA members and friends assembled at the Moorbrook, Preston for the monthly branch social. Also arranged for the evening was a tap takeover, with an impressive range of beers from Torrside Brewery of New Mills being available for those in attendance. The branch social had been arranged primarily to recognise that the Moorbrook had been chosen as the CAMRA Central Lancashire Pub of the Year for 2019. This is only the second time that a Pub of the Year award has been made. On the night the Pub of the Year presentation took place, and pictured above is branch Chairman Dave Bell (with the shield) and Moorbrook General Manager Richard Fisher Godwin (with the certificate).
. . . . . . .
The first weekend of May sees a number of Beer Festivals taking place in the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area. Long-standing Beer Festivals take place at Fulwood & Broughton Cricket Club (their eighth annual Beer Festival), and at Whittingham & Goosnargh Sports & Social Club (their seventh annual Beer & Sausage Festival). Also being held the same weekend are Beer Festivals at the Beer Brothers Brewery & Bar, Walton Summit (see the above flyer) and at the Talbot, Euxton. More Beer Festivals take place towards the end of the month over the May Bank Holiday weekend. These are at the Victory Park Social Club, Chorley, at Charnock Richard Football Club, at the Corporation Arms, Longridge, at the Gregson Green Community Centre, and at the Vernon-Carus Sports Club, Penwortham. Again these are all Beer Festivals that have become annual events. Finally May ends with a Beer Festival at St Teresa's Parish Centre, Penwortham. As always see the Local Beer Festivals webpage for the most up-to-date information we have on Beer Festivals in the branch area.
Last year CAMRA Central Lancashire branch introduced two new awards, the Community Pub of the Year and the Most Improved Pub of the Year. The second recipients of these awards were recently chosen, and it can now be announced that - the Community Pub of the Year for 2019 is the Potters Arms, Chorley (pictured above), while the Most Improved Pub of the Year for 2019 is the Vinyl Tap, Preston. The presentations for these awards will take place in September - we will be at the Vinyl Tap on September 5th, and at the Potters Arms on September 19th. We look forward to a good turnout on both nights.
. . . . . . .
The first week of June has seen the appearance of Ale Cry 123, the Summer 2019 edition of the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch quarterly magazine. This is the 10th edition produced by the current editorial team, and once again a 32 page issue has been produced containing a good mix of interesting articles and news items. The Yew Tree, Anglezarke is revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season winner, and the Moorbrook, Preston is recognised as the branch's 2019 Pub of the Year. This time there are articles on the Central Lancashire Ale Train and on Cricket Clubs in the branch area, while looking further afield there are also features on visits to Skipton and Ambleside. As usual this Ale Cry includes plenty of local news in the regular Chorley Chatter, Preston Parade, and South Ribble Scene articles, plus in this issue we have the bonus of a Longridge Libations contribution. Copies of Ale Cry 123 will be available from pubs and clubs throughout the branch area in the coming weeks.
For those interested, CAMRA Central Lancashire now has an instagram account. Admittedly, at this time there is little to see there, but hopefully in the coming weeks there will be more content added for local branch members to seek out and investigate. Of course, already available and now well 'liked' by local CAMRA members, are the branch's facebook and twitter accounts.
CAMRA Central Lancashire branch held its Annual General Meeting at the Black Horse, Preston on June 27th. This is a meeting that follows a standard format, with reports given on the achievements and events concerning the branch over the previous twelve months. Additionally one of the more important objectives is to appoint the branch committee which will hold office for the following year (for the latest appointments see the Branch Contacts page). A surprise to many of those present on the night was the announcement that the CAMRA Central Lancashire magazine Ale Cry had been chosen as the CAMRA Lancashire Branches Magazine of the Year for 2019. An informal presentation took place, with CAMRA Lancashire Area Organiser Rick Pickup handing over the above pictured certificate to Ale Cry Editor Adrian Smith.
. . . . . . .
Just received from our Printers is Issue 2 of the Chorley Real Ale Trail leaflet. This leaflet has been completely revised since the first issue was produced in January 2018. It is a different size which we hope people will find handier when visiting the pubs listed. Keep a look out for stocks of this leaflet in the pubs of Chorley as well as pubs more further afield. Next month we are hoping to have news of a second Real Ale Trail leaflet covering the pubs of Preston.
It is with great sadness that Central Lancashire branch announce the death of long-time local CAMRA member Dave Linley. Dave was involved with the branch for over 40 years, and was Chairman on two separate occasions, from 1983 to 1985 and from 2012 to 2014. In between these two spells as Chairman, he was Joint Editor of Ale Cry, with 56 issues being produced between 1995 and 2009 as the magazine developed into a much improved publication. Dave was also the branch's Pub Protection Officer, a job that he was ideally suited to having worked for over 30 years for Preston City Council in the Planning Department. Apart from CAMRA he had a number of other interests. He was a Stoke City season ticket holder, but was also a groundhopper who travelled to visit numerous non-league football grounds throughout the country. He was a hillwalker who collected marilyns and munros, and was for something like 25 years the organiser of an annual holiday to Germany and surrounding countries for himself and his friends. Dave will certainly be missed. His funeral is to take place on Friday, August 2nd at Preston Crematorium at 3.15pm.
On July 25th a good number of CAMRA Central Lancashire branch members travelled by car and minibus to the Yew Tree, Anglezarke for the July branch social. It proved to be a most enjoyable night, in what is probably one of the more remote pubs in the branch area. The Yew Tree was an appropriate venue for the branch social as it had been chosen as the CAMRA Central Lancashire Pub of the Season for Summer 2019. There was a presentation on the night, and pictured above is CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Chairman Dave Bell with Yew Tree Manager Olivia Henthorn.
. . . . . . .
August 16th saw the launch of the Preston Real Ale Trail, a leaflet produced by CAMRA Central Lancashire branch to promote the many great pubs of Preston (a total of 24 pubs are featured). Following on from last month's appearance of an updated Chorley Real Ale Trail leaflet, this second publication has now been produced to highlight a selection of Preston's best real ale pubs. The launch took place at the Old Vic, Preston, one of the pubs listed on the trail and a long-time Good Beer Guide entry. As well as a good number of local CAMRA members, present on the night was Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick, plus four Preston councillors who are representatives of wards that have pubs contained in the leaflet. The formalities were brief, with the leaflet's designer Stewart Grieve saying a few words about the use of the Ale Trail, and with Councillor Peter Kelly responding that the leaflet should be a great asset in helping with Preston's night-time economy. Pictured above with their Preston Ale Trail leaflets are the Preston councillors, while in the background are Paul Riley and Stewart Grieve of CAMRA Central Lancashire branch. Of course the Preston Real Ale Trail is not just about the Old Vic, and as the evening progressed many of those present moved on to look in at some of the other 23 pubs featured in the leaflet.
CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's August activities ended with a branch social at the Beer Brothers Brewery & Bar, Walton Summit on August 29th. Normally open only on Fridays and Saturdays, and this being a Thursday, the bar had been opened especially for our benefit, and for the dozen or so CAMRA members present this was a great opportunity for them to sample a good selection of Beer Brothers beers on the premises where they were actually brewed. Pictured on the night is CAMRA Central Lancashire branch committee member Paul Riley, with Beer Brothers co-owner Phill Leyland behind the bar.
. . . . . . .
The first week of September has seen the appearance of Ale Cry 124, the Autumn 2019 edition of the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch quarterly magazine. Hopefully readers will find that this edition of Ale Cry is once again brim full of interesting articles and news items. Inside the Plug & Taps, Preston is revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season winner, while the owners of the Beer Box, Bamber Bridge are interviewed for the My Point Of View article. This time Riley's Rambles visits Warrington, while Part 7 of the Historic Preston Pubs series looks at the many lost pubs in the Fishergate Hill area. As usual this Ale Cry also includes plenty of local news in the regular Chorley Chatter, Preston Parade, and South Ribble Scene articles. Copies of Ale Cry 124 will be available from pubs and clubs throughout the branch area in the coming weeks.
September is a busy month for CAMRA Central Lancashire branch with several presentations having been arranged to take place. The first of these presentations took place at the Vinyl Tap, Preston on September 5th, with a good turnout of branch members present to celebrate that the Vinyl Tap was the winner of CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's Most Improved Pub of the Year award for 2019. The presentation of the award was certainly timely as it is exactly 12 months since the pub re-opened under its present name, having previously been known as the Hearts of Oak. Pictured above holding the certificate are Vinyl Tap landlord Sean Keefe and CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Chairman Dave Bell, while on either side of them are other members of the pub's staff.
September 12th was the official publication date for the 2020 Good Beer Guide. Unfortunately, for the second year running, the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch order was a little late in arriving, but hopefully it will not be too long before GBGs are got to those people who have asked that we get them copies. Once again the Good Beer Guide is an essential purchase for those wanting to discover the very best of real ale pubs in all parts of the country. This year's edition features 34 pubs from the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area as chosen by local members.
The second of this month's presentations took place on September 19th at the Potters Arms, Chorley. A branch social had been arranged at the pub on the occasion that it had been chosen as the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Community Pub of the Year for 2019. As two weeks earlier at the Vinyl Tap, there was a good turnout of local CAMRA members present for the social, and during the evening branch Vice-Chairman Adrian Smith said a few words about the award before presenting Denise and Stephen Potter (pictured above) with a certificate to recognise their success.
CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's activities for September ended on the 26th with another two presentations taking place. The evening started with local CAMRA members assembling at the Plug & Taps, Preston, with it having been chosen as the branch's Pub of the Season for Autumn 2019. This was a great achievement for the micropub which was only opened as recently as June 2018, and which earlier this month had also gained even more recognition with it gaining a place in the 2020 Good Beer Guide. Pictured above after the presentation is Adam Godwin of the Plug & Taps with branch Chairman Dave Bell. Unfortunately our stay at the Plug & Taps had to be relatively short as the branch social had to relocate to the nearby Market Tavern, Preston for the second presentation. The Market Tap had been chosen as the branch's Cider Pub of the Year for 2019. This award was announced as long ago as February, but for some reason the branch had failed to arrange a presentation night. This omission was remedied with the branch's Cider Co-ordinator Ed Fletcher handing over a certificate to recognise the honour. The Market Tap (also a newcomer to the Good Beer Guide) becomes only the fifth pub to hold this award which was instigated in 2015.
. . . . . . .
November and December will see the opening of a number of new pubs and bars in the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area. The first of these appeared on November 8th, this being the Winter Lodge, Preston. This is a pop up Christmas bar which heralds the coming of the more permanent Uptown Pony Club in 2020. As far as we are aware neither the Winter Lodge nor the Uptown Pony Club will be selling real ale. A week later and there will be two new openings - the Rivington Brewing Co Tap, Rivington on Friday November 15th, and the long awaited Taps & Wine Bar, Walton-le-Dale on Saturday November 16th (NOTE: later put back to November 23rd). Also soon to open (but with no definite date as yet) is the Lostock Ale, Lostock Hall, a micropub on Hope Terrace in Lostock Hall.
. . . . . . .
The first week of December has seen the appearance of Ale Cry 125, the Winter 2019 edition of the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch quarterly magazine. Pictured on the cover are the six pubs that have been nominated for the branch's 2020 Pub of the Year award, while inside the Beer Box, Bamber Bridge is revealed as the Winter 2019 Pub of the Season winner. Regular features include Chorley Chatter, Preston Parade, South Ribble Scene, and Brewery News, while in this issue other articles included are a Riley's Rambles visit to Wigan, and a Walking With A Purpose look at Hoghton. Plus there is much more. Copies of Ale Cry 125 will be available from pubs and clubs throughout the branch area in the coming weeks. However you can also go to the Ale Cry webpage for an on-line version of the magazine.
As reported last month the back end of 2019 is seeing the opening of a number of new pubs and bars in the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area. Following on from the three new openings in November, so far December has seen the appearance of two more drinking (and dining) establishments. On December 11th the 1260 Craft & Crust, Penwortham opened, and on December 13th the WA Bar & Bistro, Bamber Bridge opened. Both will be of interest to real ale drinkers. The 1260: Craft & Crust is the first of three new bars that are to open in Penwortham, and as well as selling a selection of pizzas, it has three handpumped beers available. The WA Bar & Bistro is the long-awaited addition to the Withy Arms Group estate. It was originally to have been a micropub to be called the Weavers Arms, but planning restrictions have necessitated that it instead be a bar and bistro, with the Withy Arms house beer WA Bitter being available on handpump.
**December 2019 Update - And still they come. Since writing the above News Item another two drinking establishments have opened in the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area. Both were opened on December 19th, and both are offering a choice of real ales. The Vaults, Chorley is a bar created in former Yorkshire Bank premises, and is reported to be selling two handpumped beers. The Gin Jar Ale, Penwortham is next door to the above mentioned 1260: Craft & Crust, and is reported to be selling three handpumped beers. Hopefully all these new bars will prosper over the Christmas and New Year period, and hopefully in 2020 they will all become popular destinations for real ale drinkers in the branch area.
**December 2019 Update - We have news of yet another new drinking establishment. The Little Inn On The Park, Chorley is a bar created in the former Phoenix Chinese restaurant premises on Hallgate in Astley Village. It opened on December 13th, but unfortunately is not selling any real ale.
On December 19th CAMRA Central Lancashire Branch held its Christmas Meeting at the Black Horse in Preston. For this meeting it was a return to familiar surroundings after an enforced one year break. On the night it was pleasing that about 20 local CAMRA members were able to attend, and as is traditional the meeting was essentially a social occasion with a buffet and an entertaining quiz taking place. The most important item on the agenda was the voting for the 2019/20 George Lee Memorial Trophy winner. This is the branch's premier award which is made to the pub, organisation, or person that branch members consider to have done the most for real ale locally during the previous year. There were three nominations for the 2019/20 award, and it was host pub the Black Horse, Preston which was voted the winner by those present. Those unsuccessful were Jeremy Rowlands (the owner of the Continental, Preston, etc) who had been nominated for the second year running; while there was also a joint nomination for the two Bamber Bridge micropubs (the Brig 'n' Barrel, Bamber Bridge and the Beer Box, Bamber Bridge). This was the second time that the Black Horse had won the George Lee Memorial Trophy - however you have to go back to 1985/86 when it was previously the winner. The George Lee Memorial Trophy shield will be presented at a social to be held at the Black Horse in February 2020.
. . . . . . .