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wishmaster3211
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Jun 26, 2012, 10:10 AM

Posts: 2481
Location: A small town in Monmouthshire
Team(s): Calne Town, Darlington, Rosenborg, Sussex CCC, Huddersfield RL

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CAMRA Thread Can't Post or Reply Privately



You mean you didn't go the the Falkland Arms in Great Tew?!?!?!?!?

.


Initially I couldnt remember the name of this pub, although I have been to it in the past that was over 10 years ago and it hasn't been in the GBG for years, so the other was a safe bet.

We may have our views in the GBG. I suspect they have an agenda against Wadworths as an article in the local CAMRA rag had an advert for the Falkland Arms proudly displaying a Wadworths pub sign. I think it used to be Free?

There are hardly any of the Wadworths pubs near me in the GBG. They even leave out one in Devizes that does beer from the wood yet include the shitty spoons!Mad



"Run For the Hills Before They Burn"

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(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:33 AM)


Mr. T
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Jun 26, 2012, 11:47 AM

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Re: [wishmaster3211] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
You mean you didn't go the the Falkland Arms in Great Tew?!?!?!?!?


In Reply To
Initially I couldnt remember the name of this pub, although I have been to it in the past that was over 10 years ago and it hasn't been in the GBG for years, so the other was a safe bet.

We may have our views in the GBG. I suspect they have an agenda against Wadworths as an article in the local CAMRA rag had an advert for the Falkland Arms proudly displaying a Wadworths pub sign. I think it used to be Free?

There are hardly any of the Wadworths pubs near me in the GBG. They even leave out one in Devizes that does beer from the wood yet include the shitty spoons!Mad




The GBG is a CAMRA publication and cannot (well, should not) 'have an agenda' because all the entries are put forward by local CAMRA branches. If the North Oxon branch doesn't think the Falkland Arms is good enough it won't go in. However, I do know from personal experience in the Bedford branch years ago that some individuals do have their own, shall we say, preferences. GBG selection meetings could get a bit fractious at times. As for the advert, local branches take them from any real ale pub prepared to pay.

It's a long time (12 years?) since I last went to the Falkland Arms so I can't say why it's out of the GBG. The pub website shows that it heavily promotes food and accommodation rather than the beers and the location (always the attraction before). Perhaps the beer is no longer of such importance to the publicans and therefore not of such good quality but even it is well kept the branch may have decided there were other candidates more interesting in terms of the beers available. Not having a guest beer might count against it.

The FA was indeed a free house for some years. I first went there in 1978 when it was owned by the estate and had Hook Norton beers. It was very quiet and closed a year or so later. The village was dying, with many of the cottages empty and others falling into dereliction. The pub was then bought by John Milligan, a very Irish Irishman from St. Albans. He ran (owned?) the Coach & Horses on St Michael's Street. He transformed the FA over the next 10-12 years, extending into the cottage next door and smartening the place up considerably (he ran both pubs at the same time, employing a manager at Great Tew). Hook Norton bitter and Waddy's 6X were the regular beers with 2-4 guests at all other times. The place was packed night after night, despite its relative remoteness. This coincided with the estate spending large sums of money renovating properties in the village (or selling them to new owners to sink their own fortunes into the roofless ruins) and the population more than doubled. Some of the restorations were impressive. A car park was built next to the green to cope with the number of visitors who came to gawp at the village and peer through the windows of the locals.

John sold up and moved on to the Reindeer in Banbury, putting much of his money into a big refurbishment of that historic but rather tired old Hook Norton inn. If he's still alive he must be in his 80s. I worked behind the bar at the FA for a while when at home in Chippy during university vacations so I have a particular affection for the place but I have to say that on the last two or three occasions that I went there during the late 90s it seemed to have lost some of its charm. Perhaps the novelty had worn off.

PS For a year or two until something more salubrious was rigged up indoors, the gents 'toilet' was a tin-roofed stone outhouse across the lane next to the pub. Groundhoppers would have loved it!


(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:33 AM)


Main Drain Man
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Jun 26, 2012, 1:34 PM

Posts: 330
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Re: [Mr. T] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Maybe I should ask for this to be transferred to the General Chat thread as, although I am not a great cricket fan, I don't like side tracking or hijacking their thread, but was interested in the CAMRA comments. I have a friend who does research for the pubs listed for Suffolk and he says that with a predetermined number to include in each GBG they have to leave out some pubs which should walk in and on other occasions have a "rotating squad" system to ensure that one removed from one years book will return at a future date when an equally deserving one has to then be left out.

Not ideal but at least some logic, although you could get an area with few pubs and therefore undeserving ones will get in to meet with the quota at the expense of good ones elsewhere.

Edinburgh and Lothian were a lot more personal in their local guide by actually saying they would not include any pubs selling S and N beers. OK they are not my favourite but this is akin to ethnic cleansing in the world of ale.

More dubious was a comment from a former editor of the Derby guide where he admitted if he didn't like a pub or had an argument with one he would not include in the guide and hence some real gems were not included.

The ultimate was a local Oxfordshire guide albeit many years ago. We were doing a rail pub crawl and had some time in Bicester. Having selected our watering hole we were disappointed to see one fairly close to the station which would have given extra drinking time. On glancing through the window however we saw what seemed to be hand pumps and so it turned out with a brilliant range of ales so we ignored the guide and went there. In talking with the publican it seemed that CAMRA visited and said they would put the pub in their local guide and he was in agreement. They then asked him for 50 to do so (and this was over 20 years ago so it was big money at the time). He rightly said no and pointed out pubs to avoid which were in the guide having handed over their "blood money". It's as unbelievable as, say, paying 250,000 to eat with David Cameron to influence Governmental policy, it would never happen; would it?

One final comment is why are there so many CAMRA a*seholes who steward the London area festivals? Two in particular must be related to Barry the Twit as they are so effing rude to the punters and then use the threat of "All workers here are volunteers and people being rude to them will be thrown out" signs having expelled their venom on those who have paid to get in. One even looks like him. It would help them if they had good memories as on one circuit the area where they say you are not allowed to stand is the one where you have to stand on the next one.

Everywhere else the staff are amazing with my own favourites being those stewarding and serving at Hinckley; great people.

Anyway back to the cricket with apologies.


(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:33 AM)


wishmaster3211
First Team Star


Jun 26, 2012, 1:43 PM

Posts: 2481
Location: A small town in Monmouthshire
Team(s): Calne Town, Darlington, Rosenborg, Sussex CCC, Huddersfield RL

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Re: [Main Drain Man] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I think there are definitely agendas at work. one is to put in as many wetherspoons as they can which is wrong as jdw dont need help with publicity. Another is anti large regionals. Hardly any St Austell houses in the guide so you go to Cornwall and have no idea which pubs are good and which arent.
Recent trip to st ives has the guide pub 40p a pint dearer than the tourist pub and less beer range. Was also in a gbg pub recently that had a crap beer range and was well overpriced yet there was a cracking pub down the road not in the gbg.
It all depends on the branch in my experience as to what gets in. they use space as an excuse as there are a lot of very average joints in some areas that get in.



"Run For the Hills Before They Burn"

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(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:34 AM)


Mr. T
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Jun 26, 2012, 3:30 PM

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Re: [Main Drain Man] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I'm sure if the moderators will move this if they think it necessary.

A few comments on the above from Main Drain Man and Wishmaster:

1. Charging a pub for inclusion in a local guide.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Somebody should have got a rocket. If HQ found out this was going on it would (or ought to) do all it could within its constitution to bar the guilty.

2. GBG
I should have made it explicit that branches have a fixed allocation so sometimes there will be the consequences described. HQ and the editor decide the allocations so maybe some need to be changed to match quality available but I think that occasionally the desire to avoid large areas not having an entry leads to acceptance of pubs of less than top quality. Also, some branches have more active members than others and in some rural areas it can be quite difficult to perform regular quality checks on suggested entrants that are not well known to members. This is the biggest problem in compiling the GBG i.e. lack of volunteers to flog around pubs and check the quality on a regular basis.

Pubs are (or should be) chosen first and foremost for their beer quality. Considerations will be given to other factors but range or price take second place. A large range of beers is not necessarily a good thing and certainly not a major factor in inclusion. If turnover doesn't match availability, beers go off. I've been to too many pubs with two cracking beers and half-a-dozen stinkers. As I pointed out earlier, there will always be some on a branch committee who will have peculiar preferences and can bully their way to the inclusion of these. This might account for some of the apparently perverse inclusions.

However, the guide has changed because so has the pub scene, with so many closures and big changes to many of those that are left. Today's GBG has 4,500 entries rather than the 6,000 of the 70s and early 80s. Those were the days when splendidly seedy urban pubs found their way into the guide in considerable numbers. The brief one line descriptions of the time gave all the information you needed: 'Basic urban boozer', 'Back street local'. Today, people expect more when they go out and some rather swanky and pricy outfits now find their way in to the exclusion of the basic pub (of which there are hardly any left anyway).

Pubs are changing hands a lot at the moment and quality can decline rapidly under new management. CAMRA has a rule that a pub should be deleted if this happens (which can be a bit unfair sometimes) but unless you're in touch with update bulletins, you won't know this. A pub will fall out of the online lists and mobile apps but your 16 (and 2lb) GBG will be out of date.

Main Drain Man talks of Edinburgh and Lothian not including S&N beers. AFAIK there is no national policy on this but some branches will exclude certain pubs because they have nationally available beers from the big producers. Parts of the country are awash with Marston's, Young's, Wells, Greene King, Fuller's and however well they are kept (and Fuller's are in my top 10), some will go for pubs with rarer beers (though this might sometimes compromise the 'quality is all' policy).

NB There are no true S&N beers left. Wells & Young's now brew the last brands acquired by S&N (Courage). S&N is now Heineken, which has a 30% stake in Caledonian, producers of Deuchars IPA.

3. Wetherspoons
Some are very good but a lot of CAMRA members are unhappy about their inclusion, ditto some pubs from big chains like Punch Taverns. Sadly, there are many towns that don't have many, if any, decent real ale pubs and a Wetherspoon finds it way in often because it has local beers.

The general debate about Wetherspoons is elsewhere on the forum!

4. Festivals
No excuse for the behaviour you describe. I could understand this happening at big regional festivals and the GBBF where goons can get into positions where they shouldn't be staff often come from all over the country and quite clearly are not vetted in the same way as at smaller local festivals. The latter are much better at managing this because the committee will know all the local volunteers and will keep away from the public those lacking PR skills! However, as in everything in life there will always be some branches who fail in this. If you have a complaint, find the organiser/chairman. Every festival should have some sort of enquiry point in the hall.


(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:34 AM)


wishmaster3211
First Team Star


Jun 26, 2012, 4:44 PM

Posts: 2481
Location: A small town in Monmouthshire
Team(s): Calne Town, Darlington, Rosenborg, Sussex CCC, Huddersfield RL

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Re: [Mr. T] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I dont know how to move stuff from thread to a new thread.

I was actually posting at Corsham with Wiltshire 325/8 d off 89 , Breet 85, Afridi * inc 4 sixes off Udal, who I think got a 10 wicket haul. But it started drizzling and anyway Wilts batted way too long leaving Berks, who had a weak side out, needing 370 at nigh on 7 rpo when I left.

Coffee 60p, Scorecard 1, bacon Roll 1.80, Att 34.

I think CAMRA need to look hard at how the Guide is compiled. I actually left CAMRA years ago as I was annoyed at the amount of mediocre pubs and indeed beers they were promoting. Seems it hasn't improved much. It is definitely a branch thing, South Wilts is very consistent and you can rely on most entries in their section, Cornwall, as an example, is totally unreliable with whole swathes of pubs excluded seemingly due to them being St Austell, and some very dodgy entries included that are free houses but when you visit have guess what? St Austell and Sharps on!.



"Run For the Hills Before They Burn"

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(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:34 AM)


Mr. T
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Jun 26, 2012, 5:10 PM

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Re: [wishmaster3211] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

On GBG compilation we appear to agree and for the same reasons.

Free houses:
Some are not really free at all. Pubs are often sold with a condition of sale that they continue to take some of their former owners' products. Whitbread did this across large parts of the country in the 60s and 70s, particularly in the Cotswolds and adjoining counties (they took over Flower's of Cheltenham). Free house on the sign, nobbut Whitbread inside. There are other forms of restrictive contract although sometimes it may just be that a truly free house is offered a good but exclusive deal.


(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:35 AM)


Main Drain Man
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Jun 27, 2012, 1:54 AM

Posts: 330
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Re: [Mr. T] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Some interesting stuff Wishmaster and Mr T. thanks for the info. Re S and N comment; it is not a recent guide I referred to but still a stated practise by the editor. I love my ales so, won't let my whinges, interfere with my imbibing. I suppose I am willing to sit back and let others do the work so shouldn't moan if they don't meet with my morals. We all have some biased opinions (support different teams for example) but when you are supposedly providing an impartial point of view all bias and ceratinly no external influences (e.g. payments) should come into play. Soapbox over; enjoy the cricket guys


(This post was edited by Jamesie on Jun 27, 2012, 9:35 AM)


wishmaster3211
First Team Star


Jun 27, 2012, 11:34 PM

Posts: 2481
Location: A small town in Monmouthshire
Team(s): Calne Town, Darlington, Rosenborg, Sussex CCC, Huddersfield RL

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Re: [Main Drain Man] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I rejoined CAMRA last year and am still a member, as I am passionate about Real Ale and Cider and was concerned at the way the Govt was taxing it to death amongst other things.

The GBG does frustrate me though. The mobile phone app is great mind you, but read my post about Gainsborough for an example of a really poor guide entry. One of the pubs, the one near the ground, had one beer on, and it was some generic crap. Had I been sober Id have walked out but like a mug I paid 80P (!!) more than the other guide pub just for the tick. No way should the pub have been in the GBG. Essentially by having this very average pub in the Guide they cost the rather excellent one near the river (but not near the ground) 2.20 of my money as I would have just had another one there.....

I then went to the Social Club at the ground (not in the Guide) where they had two real ales on and one was local and only 2.60/pint......



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KnowYourMarket
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Jun 29, 2012, 7:35 PM

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Re: [wishmaster3211] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In the Potteries area all members get a voting slip and it is done democratically. Some good pubs don't get in where there is a good selection. However, other areas pubs get in as they are the best of a very poor bunch. Many South Wales entries are bog standard Brains pubs and uninspiring for instance.

My preference is for a large selection of micro ales rather than the larger brand real ales. That's probably the ticker in me.



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D A
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Jun 29, 2012, 7:36 PM

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Re: [KnowYourMarket] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Did you give the Congress a vote ?



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KnowYourMarket
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Jun 29, 2012, 7:51 PM

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Re: [D A] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

No, because I don't visit enough pubs in the area on a regular enough basis to say that is better than others. It's a cracking pub but I'll leave the voting to the more regular users of pubs in the area.



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wishmaster3211
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Jun 29, 2012, 8:43 PM

Posts: 2481
Location: A small town in Monmouthshire
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In Reply To
In the Potteries area all members get a voting slip and it is done democratically. Some good pubs don't get in where there is a good selection. However, other areas pubs get in as they are the best of a very poor bunch. Many South Wales entries are bog standard Brains pubs and uninspiring for instance.

My preference is for a large selection of micro ales rather than the larger brand real ales. That's probably the ticker in me.


A really good Brains pub is worth a visit though

There are a couple of duff Brains pubs in Cardiff in the guide, yet one that does it form the wood isn't in! Now see that cant be an issue of space alone...



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stourboy
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Jun 29, 2012, 10:06 PM

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Re: [wishmaster3211] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Wow 104000 views!!


acmold
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Jun 30, 2012, 9:50 AM

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Not that I drink these days but I gave up on the GBG many moons ago, went to a game in the Newcastle area and visited a local pub which was in the guide when we got there they had only one Real Ale and none of the ones listed. The staff were unfriendly and were down right rude to one of the party when he asked for cider.

Also I remember I used to look at the local entrys around my area and at times they seemed made up and did not reflect the pubs one little bit. Other good pubs that had a selection of Real Ales never appeared in it, so in the end I just thought it a waste of time.


LondonBuck
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Jun 30, 2012, 9:34 PM

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Re: [wishmaster3211] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Whilst I am a member, I don't buy the GBG, I have just one copy for reference but found that some of the pubs were not that great, its no good having top quality beer if the pub is a dive Crazy



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wishmaster3211
First Team Star


Jun 30, 2012, 9:52 PM

Posts: 2481
Location: A small town in Monmouthshire
Team(s): Calne Town, Darlington, Rosenborg, Sussex CCC, Huddersfield RL

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Re: [LondonBuck] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Oh if the beer is top notch I can drink in a dive. Its quite rare though.

My issue is more the beer being average and much better pubs down the road being excluded. Unfortunately if you really don't know an area you still need a reference. I find their mobile phone App very useful but also rely on my own nose for sniffing out good pubs.



"Run For the Hills Before They Burn"

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wishmaster3211
First Team Star


Jul 12, 2012, 7:44 PM

Posts: 2481
Location: A small town in Monmouthshire
Team(s): Calne Town, Darlington, Rosenborg, Sussex CCC, Huddersfield RL

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Re: [LondonBuck] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The ultimate pub for this thread:

King Lud, Ryde, IOW.

Not been in the GBG for years. I did a couple of ticks on the Island that were VERY average. The KL has 4 beers on, 2 local. The IOW Ale of Wight was approaching perfection. Yet it isnt ever in the guide!

You cant miss it, its right opposite the Esplanade Station.



"Run For the Hills Before They Burn"

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PonteCarlo
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Aug 2, 2012, 11:42 AM

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Re: [wishmaster3211] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

My opposite to wishmasters post is that the Halifax branch, for whatever reason no-one knows, continuously includes the King William IV in King Cross as one of its entries to the GBG. This pub has cask Tetley's ONLY and with it now no longer brewed in Leeds it isn't even local!! Those that have been to Halifax in the last couple of years could probably rattle off plenty of pubs in the town much better than just having one national brand on! For example, the Westgate, Three Pigeons, Lewis Ale House, Pump Room, Ring O Bells and the Old Post Office...

In the Wakefield branch, we have a fair few active members (me being the most active Wink) and we base our entries around the beerscoring system. I personally try to visit every pub that is reported to serve cask beer in the catchment area (I clocked up 140 last year!) and this is then presented to the committee before we discuss the pros and cons of each pub and whether it should merit entry.



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ciderjon
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Aug 6, 2012, 10:41 PM

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Re: [PonteCarlo] CAMRA Thread [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Mr T

Glad you remember John Milligan, I used to deliver the cider to his St Albans pub in the mid-eighties.

No football for me this week, as I shall be working behind the American Bar at GBBF. Any one attending come and say hello. I might even buy you a drink (but probably not!).



Last new Belgian beer: Lupulus (formerly Trois Fourquets) Triple 8.5% bc (808)


 
 


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