Branch & Local News 2013
The first pub casualty of 2013? - the Tithebarn, Preston has again closed, and is currently boarded up. Other pubs recently closed and with uncertain futures include the Bay Horse, Whittle-le-Woods, the Skeffington, Preston, the Swan, Higher Walton, the Swan With Two Necks, Chorley, and the Tanners Arms, Preston.
**March 2013 Update - The Tithebarn has now re-opened, but is not selling any real ale.
Looking on the bright side it is not all bad news. After being closed for more than a year, the Dog & Partridge, Charnock Richard re-opened late last year, while there are also hopes that two other long-closed pubs, the White Hart, Chorley and the Waterfront, Preston may soon be re-opening.
Some more good news to report is that Fishers, Preston is now selling real ale. The pub has two handpumps, with Charles Wells Bombardier being the one beer that is permanently available.
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Two pubs currently closed are the Lord Nelson, Croston and the Pleasant Retreat, Lostock Hall. The Lord Nelson is a Good Beer Guide 2013 entry and is being processed as an official deletion from that publication. For other changes to the Good Beer Guide see the Good Beer Guide Updates page.
Following on from the improved situation at Fishers, which was reported last month, the 1842, Preston is a second long keg only pub that has now commenced selling real ale. The pub has three handpumps and is selling a range of Thwaites beers.
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Ale Cry 98, the Spring 2013 issue of Ale Cry has now been produced. In this issue the Horns, Goosnargh is revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season recipient (see POTS Spring 2013), while the Leyland Lion, Leyland is featured as the 2012/13 George Lee Memorial Trophy award winner (see GLMT 2012/13).
CAMRA Central Lancashire branch now has a Facebook page. For those who know what they are doing and would like to get involved, it can be found by going to CAMRA Central Lancashire Branch Facebook.
It would appear that the branch's newest brewery - Chorley Brewhouse has already closed down. The micro-brewery, which was based at Coppull and was only active for about six months, was seen in a number of local outlets, with their beers being Grain Pole, Eagle Tower, Napper Tapper, White Coppice and Black Coppice..
Some news about two pubs recently reported as being closed. The Bay Horse (now Bay Horse, Whittle-le-Woods) has re-opened, and it has been selling Caledonian Deuchars IPA and Flying Scotsman. The Pleasant Retreat, Lostock Hall remains closed, but it is understood that it will be re-opening in September after a refurbishment and there are indications that it will be promoted as a real ale outlet.
The Anderton Arms, Fulwood is a new addition to that select group of pubs in the branch area that are offering a reduction on the price of a pint of real ale to card-carrying CAMRA members. Each week, from Tuesdays to Sundays they have a 20p per pint discount to CAMRA members, while on Mondays there is a similar reduction for all customers. For the most up-to-date information on pubs that are offering a discount to CAMRA Members go to Real Ale Discount Scheme.
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The long anticipated Goosnargh Brewery has now opened at the Horns, Goosnargh. Initially there are two beers available at the Horns, which coincidentally is the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch Pub of the Season for Spring 2013. The two beers are Goosnargh Gold and Goosnargh Truckle.
Already this year there have been plenty of reports of pub closures in the area. However this month we can re-set the balance a little with the announcement that three recently closed pubs have now re-opened. Not a lot of information to hand yet, but the Lord Nelson, Croston, the Pleasant Retreat, Lostock Hall, and the Tithebarn, Preston are all back up and running. The Pleasant Retreat has re-opened much sooner than expected, while the Tithebarn has once again come back into use after looking to be finished as a pub.
This year's CAMRA Members' Weekend and AGM took place at St Andrews Hall in Norwich over the weekend April 19th-21st. Unfortunately we have to report that CAMRA Central Lancashire Committee Member Mick Clark failed in his attempt to gain election to CAMRA's National Executive.
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May has been an incredibly busy month for Beer Festivals in the Central Lancashire area. There were three Beer Festivals held over the May Bank Holiday weekend - at the Eagle & Child, Bispham Green, at the Cow Bar And Grill, Preston, (which later became Wings & Beer Co, Preston), and at Whittingham & Goosnargh Sports & Social Club. Three weeks later, anyone who fancied going to a Beer Festival over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend had an even greater choice, with events taking place at the Euxton Mills, Euxton, the Black Bull, Fulwood, the Sirloin, Hoghton, the Corporation Arms, Longridge, the Anchor, Lostock Hall, and at Chorley FC's Victory Park Social Club, Chorley. Finally at the end of the month there was another tremendously successful Beer Festival at the Continental, Preston. See the Local Beer Festivals page for up-to-date information on Beer Festivals taking place in the area.
Meanwhile the Old Black Bull, Preston could be considered a pub that holds a permanent Beer Festival. In addition to the 10 Beer Festivals in May listed above, the Old Black Bull had a London Beers Festival over the May Bank Holiday weekend, and had a Yorkshire Beers Festival over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
The former Waterfront / New Waterfront pub is to re-open at the end of this month under the name Baffito's At The Waterfront, Ashton. It is understood that like their first outlet in Warrington (Baffito's Bar & Pizzeria) it will be a pizzeria, but that unlike the Warrington branch it will also have a bar selling real ale. When known as the New Waterfront the pub was a Pub of the Season winner, but it has been closed for over three years since 2010.
The branch is now in receipt of a supply of 2013 LocAle window stickers. Go to LocAle Outlets for information on the 45 pubs and clubs in the Central Lancashire branch area which are currently part of the LocAle scheme.
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This month sees your local CAMRA branch reach its 40th birthday. It is one of the oldest CAMRA branches in the country, having been formed at a meeting at the Moorbrook, Preston on June 25th 1973. The branch originally covered a much larger area, and was known as CAMRA West Lancashire branch until a name change at the end of 2011.
More information about the formation of the branch can be found in Ale Cry 99, the Summer 2013 issue of Ale Cry, which has now been produced. In this issue the Wheatsheaf, Croston is revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season recipient (see POTS Summer 2013).
The winners of CAMRA's Lancashire Pub of the Year and Club of the Year awards for 2013 have been announced, and once again the CAMRA Central Lancashire nominations have been overlooked (I say this every year). The Lancashire POTY is the Swan With Two Necks at Pendleton (previously a winner in 2011), and the winner of the Lancashire COTY is Blackpool Cricket Club (previously a winner in 2010 and 2012). For more information see the Lancashire Area Awards page.
The Crown, Croston is a new addition to the increasing number of pubs that are offering a discount on the price of a pint of cask ale to card-carrying CAMRA members. The pub has recently been taken on by Jo and Rob who are CAMRA members and first-time tenants, and they are offering a 20p per pint discount to CAMRA members. See the Real Ale Discount Scheme webpage for a complete list of pubs that are currently offering CAMRA members a discount.
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Anyone with an interest in Preston, pubs and local history should try and get down to Avenham Park to the Pavilion to attend at least one of the "Talks in the Park" that have been organised for this Summer. In all a series of five illustrated talks about Preston's pub history are being given by Steve Halliwell of Preston's Inns, Taverns, And Beerhouses fame. The first at 7.30pm on Wednesday July 10th concentrates on ex-Preston North End footballers who later became pub landlords, while the subsequent talks being held on July 24th, August 7th, August 21st, and September 4th will look at other aspects of Preston's most interesting pub history. See the above website for more information.
Staying with Preston North End, and the latest beer from the Hart Of Preston Brewery is a 3.7% cask lager called 1880 Foundation. As well as commemorating the event that Preston North End became a football club in 1880, the pump clip reminds supporters that it is now 125 years since the club acquired the Invincibles nickname. The first sighting of the new beer was in the Queens, Leyland.
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A big surprise this month has been the closure of the Derby Arms, Thornley. This popular country pub has been run by the local Walne family (a good old Longridge name) for almost 30 years, but there appears to have been a dispute with the pub's owners Punch Taverns who have increased their rental terms. Hopefully the pub's closure will only be temporary, and hopefully Will and Carole Walne will soon be able to find another suitable pub in the Longridge area.
Two other pubs that will be closing in the near future are the Mad Ferret, Preston, and the Crown, Croston. However this news is not as bad as it sounds, as in both instances the closures will only be temporary, with the pubs each undergoing a refurbishment. The Mad Ferret, which now has an association with the Continental, Preston, will be closed from August 27th to September 11th, when it will be re-renamed the Ferret, Preston. The Crown, which was enthused over when visited on our most recent Ale Cry Distribution Crawl, will be closed from September 30th to October 19th.
Over the years there have been a number of changes to the geographical area covered by CAMRA Central Lancashire branch. In January 2010 a handful of our pubs in the Rufford/Tarleton area were transferred to CAMRA Southport & West Lancashire branch, while more recently three pubs in the Brinscall area were incorporated into our branch from CAMRA East Lancashire branch. This month there has been a further re-adjustment of branch boundaries, with the Eagle & Child, Bispham Green, the Farmers Arms, Bispham Green, and the Corner House, Wrightington Bar all being formally transferred to CAMRA Wigan branch.
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This was a big month for CAMRA. Locally we had the production of the 100th edition of Ale Cry, while nationally we had the launch of the 2014 Good Beer Guide plus the launch of the online pub database Whatpub.
Ale Cry 100, the Autumn 2013 issue of Ale Cry was received from the Printers on September 12th. In this issue the Nabs Head, Samlesbury was revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season recipient (see POTS Autumn 2013), while also included within this landmark edition of Ale Cry is a reproduction of the very first issue of Ale Cry from April 1978.
Officially published by national CAMRA the same day was the 2014 Good Beer Guide. As always an excellent and indispensable publication, this year's edition features 34 pubs from the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area.
Just over a week later on September 23rd and CAMRA's national pub database WhatPub was released for access by the general public. Anyone visiting this new website will find plenty of information about all pubs in the CAMRA Central Lancashire branch area as well as those more further afield.
The White Hart, Chorley re-opened on August 31st after being closed for over two years. Although it is great news to report this instance of a pub coming back to life after seemingly being lost forever, there has been some disappointment expressed at the unadventurous range of beers that have initially been on sale - Marstons Pedigree, Thwaites Original, Thwaites Wainwright, and Charles Wells Bombardier.
Unfortunately, as one pub re-opens another pub in our branch area closes, with the Angel, Preston ceasing to trade as from the beginning of September. At this time the future of the Angel as a pub can only be described as uncertain, but hopes are that new people will come in to revitalise this venue of many a CAMRA branch meeting over the years.
**November 2013 Update - The Angel has now re-opened.
And the pub closures don't end there, with neighbouring pubs the Lancs & Yorks, Bamber Bridge and the White Bull, Bamber Bridge both recently calling last orders for the final time. These closures may have been on the cards for several months, and although neither pub had been selling real ale at the time of their closure, their loss is significant to the once highly pub populated Station Road in Bamber Bridge - remember the Black Bull, Bamber Bridge which is now offices, and the MacKenzie, Bamber Bridge which was recently demolished. It is understood that the Lancs & Yorks is to become a children's nursery, while the White Bull is to become a funeral parlour.
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The pub scene in Leyland has improved dramatically in recent years, and in the coming months it would appear that things are going to get even better. First there is the intriguing news that the landlord and landlady from the Railway At Leyland, Leyland have taken possession of a former travel agency shop in the town with the intention that it be converted into a 'pop-up micro-pub'. Located on Hough Lane, and being created particularly to appeal to Leyland's cask ale drinkers, it will be an interesting contrast to the nearby Wetherspoons Leyland Lion, Leyland pub.
And it does not end there. It may have seemed a backward step when the Withy Arms, Leyland suddenly closed during the Summer, but the welcoming news is that the premises have been acquired by the people from the Withy Arms, Bamber Bridge and that after a refurbishment the pub will be re-opening as the Withy Arms Mark II in early December.
Elsewhere, another currently closed pub, the Kinetic Bar, Chorley, is set to re-open this month back under its original name - the Royal Oak. The new owner has big plans for the pub, with it being his intention that it will be a 'combined services club' venue and that it will be selling two different cask beers.
Finally to the north of the branch area and the news is not so good. A couple of months back it was reported that the Derby Arms, Thornley had closed, but on a recent sally round Longridge by one of our members it was found that the Duke William, Longridge and the White Bull, Longridge were both also closed. Hopefully all these closures will only be temporary.
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'Do Not Adjust Your Set'...... Apologies to anyone who noticed, but as of November 20th the website is back on-line after being down for about nine days due to circumstances beyond our control. Hopefully within the next week or so the relevant pages will all be updated with the important pub information that has recently come to our notice.
Ale Cry 101, the Winter 2013/14 issue of Ale Cry was received from the Printers on November 21st. In this issue the White Bull, Chorley is revealed as the branch's latest Pub of the Season recipient (see POTS Winter 2013/14), while those with especially good eyesight will be able to read more about the branch website.
'Clubwatch' reaches 30! One of the branch's current projects is to draw up a list of all clubs in the area that are selling real ale. With the recent addition of the Oak Royal Golf & Country Club, Withnell and the Euxton Parish Institute & War Memorial Club, the total number of qualifying clubs has now reached 30. We believe that there are others, and would welcome information about any clubs in the branch area that have so far been missed. See Local Clubs Guide for the most up-to-date list of clubs in the area that are selling real ale.
The branch's newest micro-brewery, the Bishop's Crook Craft Brewery (see their Facebook page) is now officially licensed to commercially brew its beers. Initial sightings of their beer Initiate are likely to be at Our Lady & St Gerard's Parochial Centre, Lostock Hall.
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CAMRA Central Lancashire Branch held its Christmas Meeting on December 16th at the Black Horse in Preston. As usual a good time was had by all, with one of the main activities being the voting for the 2013-14 George Lee Memorial Trophy winner. This 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, was won by Mark Woods - the landlord of the Horns, Goosnargh and the owner of the still relatively new Goosnargh Brewery.
This is the second occasion within a year that Mark and the people at the Horns Inn have been recognised by CAMRA Central Lancs branch, with Mark pictured here receiving the Spring 2013 Pub of the Season award from Chairman Dave Linley. The George Lee Memorial Trophy shield itself will be presented to Mark at a social to be held at the Horns early in 2014.
On the same day as the branch's Christmas Meeting, there was a new pub opening in the area, with the Market Ale House, Leyland commencing business to provide even more choice in South Ribble's main town centre. One of our branch members was there on the opening day and he was most impressed by what had been achieved in the former travel agency premises in so short a time. On subsequent visits it has been found that there are five or six real ales usually on offer, with a strong representation of beers from Lancashire's LocAle qualifying breweries.
As advertised in the latest Ale Cry, the former Roebuck pub in Leyland was re-opened on December 12th under new ownership. Now known as the Withy Arms, Leyland, it is being run on the same lines as its sister pub, the extremely successful Withy Arms in Bamber Bridge. This is another pub that will usually have a choice of five or six real ales at any one time, with the Thwaites brewed Withy Ale likely to be available on a near permanent basis.
Last year Preston had the Tundra Bar as a temporary pop-up bar appearing in the city centre over the Christmas/New Year period. This year the attraction has been the smaller Alpine Bar which was due to be in place on the flag market until Sunday January 5th. It is good to see something like this appearing, but somehow I doubt that it will have been as successful as last year's Tundra Bar. After all - outdoor drinking in December - plastic glasses - and a choice of Robinsons Dizzy Blonde or Trooper both at £3.50 a pint. Gulp!