Branch & Local News
For CAMRA National News go to National CAMRA News.
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With the Covid-19 lockdown firmly in place, there is little branch news to report this month. However those local CAMRA members (who have registered their email addresses with CAMRA HQ) will have received the branch's latest emAle newsletter on May 1st.
At the end of April CAMRA announced the winners of the National Pub Design Awards for 2020, and it was good news for CAMRA Central Lancashire branch, with our nomination the Plau, Preston being named the winner of the award for Best Conversion. The Plau opened in November 2018, this being the culmination of a lengthy build-up which had seen the pub created in premises that had previously been occupied by a retro clothes and body modification shop. Congratulations go to the pub's owner Jeremy Rowlands and all who have been involved in the establishment of the Plau. It's a very rare honour for a local pub to be recognised with a national award.
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With the Covid-19 lockdown firmly in place, there is little branch news to report this month. However those local CAMRA members (who have registered their email addresses with CAMRA HQ) will have received the branch's latest emAle newsletter on April 1st.
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CAMRA Meetings & Socials cancelled (see Branch Diary).
Due to advice from the government concerning the control of the spread of Covid-19 and the avoidance of mass gatherings, and following an instruction from CAMRA HQ, it is with great regret that we must cancel all CAMRA Central Lancashire branch events planned between now and the end of June.
The first week of March has seen the appearance of Ale Cry 126, the Spring 2020 edition of the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch quarterly magazine. Featured on the front page (and with an article inside) is the Black Horse, Preston, which is the George Lee Memorial Trophy winner for 2019/20. The Red Lion, Wheelton is revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season winner, while the Ale Cry Visits article looks at pubs in the Samlesbury area. Regular features include Chorley Chatter, Preston Parade, and South Ribble Scene, while this time there is the added bonus of a Longridge Libations article. Overall we would like to think that you will find plenty of interest in our magazine. Copies of Ale Cry 126 will be available from pubs and clubs throughout the branch area in the coming weeks.
Congratulations go to the Guild Ale House, Preston on being chosen as the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's Pub of the Year for 2020. This selection was made by local CAMRA members from a shortlist of six worthy candidates (the runner-up was Black Horse, Preston). We would like to thank all our members who took the time to cast their vote. This is the third year that the award has been in existence. The Guild Ale House was also the winner in 2018, and as the holder it was not eligible in 2019. It will now go forward as the branch's nomination for the Lancashire Branches Pub of the Year award.
Congratulations also go to the Bob Inn, Chorley on being chosen as the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's Cider Pub of the Year for 2020. The Bob Inn becomes the first pub to win this award on two occasions, having previously also been the winner in 2015. It will now go forward as the branch's nomination for the West Pennines Cider Pub of the Year award.
Finally congratulations go to the Longton VM Sports & Social Club on being chosen as the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch's Club of the Year for 2020. It will now go forward as the branch's nomination for the Lancashire Branches Club of the Year award.
Opening on March 13th was the No 16 On The Hill, Penwortham, the third of the three new micropubs to be established on Liverpool Road in Penwortham (the first two opened in December). Originally to be called Bar 1260, the new name was chosen to avoid confusion with the neighbouring 1260 Craft & Crust, Penwortham. The No. 16 On The Hill is owned by Antony and Stephanie Anderson, who also run the Sir Tom Finney, Penwortham. The new micropub has three handpumps, and initially was selling beers from Cross Bay and Dark Star. Unfortunately, as with all other pubs in the country, it was forced to close just seven days later on March 20th due to the government's instructions regarding the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
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On February 20th CAMRA Central Lancashire held a branch social at the Black Horse, Preston. There was a good turnout of branch members present on the night, there to celebrate that the Black Horse had been selected as the George Lee Memorial Trophy winner for 2019/20. The GLMT shield (now on display in the pub as pictured above) was presented by CAMRA Central Lancashire Vice-Chairman Adrian Smith to landlord Dan Taylor, along with a certificate.
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Just to let all local CAMRA members know that they are now able to vote for the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Pub of the Year for 2020. This is the award first introduced in 2018 (and won last year by the Moorbrook, 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 six candidates for the award as follows:-
We look forward to receive your vote, but don't worry as you still have plenty of time as votes will be accepted until February 29th 2020. For more information about the award, and how to submit your vote, go to the Pub of the Year 2020 webpage.
With as many as five new bars opening in December, you may have thought that there would be nothing more to report about new bars for quite some time. This has not been the case as already in January there have been two new openings. The first to open was the Calico Lounge, Chorley, a café bar attached to Chorley's new cinema complex. The Calico Lounge is part of the larger Lounges group which runs several similar bars across the country, and does not sell any real ale. Opening on January 24th was the Lostock Ale, Lostock Hall, a micropub on Hope Terrace in Lostock Hall. This establishment has been ready to open for a couple of months, but the final go-ahead from South Ribble has taken longer than anticipated. The Lostock Ale has six handpumps, and initially was selling beers from Lancashire breweries like Crankshaft and Moorhouses.
CAMRA Central Lancashire's first social of 2020 took place at the Beer Box, Bamber Bridge on January 30th. The social had been arranged as the Beer Box had been chosen as the branch's Pub of the Season for Winter 2019/20. A great achievement for the micropub considering that it only opened as recently as September 2018. There was a full house on the night, with many locals present alongside about a dozen or so local CAMRA members. Pictured above with the Pub of the Season certificate are Beer Box owners Darren Rooney, Mark Murphy, and Mark Bentham, along with CAMRA Central Lancashire Chairman Dave Bell.
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