[National Pubs Week logo]

ALE Spring 2003 No. 309

National Pubs Week

22 February - 1 March

"A Pub For Everyone"

The aim of the Week was to encourage more people to visit pubs more often.

CAMRA's research shows that around 20 pubs close every month whilst over a quarter of adults never visit pubs. A unique British institution - the public house - is under real threat. The slogan of Pubs Week was "There's a pub for everyone".

CAMRA highlighted the enormous variety of pubs in the UK, from quaint country inns, to community locals, to vibrant city centre bars and all shades in between.

It was all about reminding those people they need to support their local before it's too late.

Locally

The Cambridge area is especially rich in the variety and quality of pubs, both in the city and surrounding countryside.

As an example, Cambridge & District CAMRA hosted a pub crawl of King Street, as that features every major type of pub, ably illustrating the theme of National Pubs Week.

The Brewery, the Bun Shop, the Champion of the Thames, the King Street Run and the St Radegund are very different pubs, each with its own atmosphere and ambience.

Doing the King Street Run itself is a long-standing Cambridge institution. When it started there were even more pubs on the street and the aim was to drink a pint in each one in the shortest possible time. Many a student has found himself much the worse for wear as a result over the years. The Run continues though nowadays each has to be visited twice.

The Cambridge Evening News featured the event, quoting Bruce Gilliam, manager of The Bun Shop: "Less people have been coming through the door in the last two or three months. People are starting to drink more at home because they can have a better selection, and perhaps also find it a bit more comfortable."

The CEN went on to quote Terry Kavanagh, landlord of The St Radegund, as saying he was delighted CAMRA were doing something to include all pubs, regardless of their style and how many kinds of beer they sold. Landlords needed to put the work in to make sure the punters kept coming back for more.

Regionally

CAMRA's research revealed only 16 per cent of East Anglians visit pubs more than once a week.

CAMRA recorded 10 regional media reports and 17 local media reports.

Peterborough CAMRA hosted several pub tours. St Neots CAMRA toured rescued and reopened pubs.

Ipswich, East Suffolk and West Suffolk CAMRA sponsored a series of radio ads on SGR. In Ipswich Nigel Smith put his picture in the Ipswich Evening Star stating that if someone noticed him in a pub in National Pubs Week and went up to him and said "You're Nigel Smith" then he would buy them a free a pint.

Nationally

CAMRA's market research for National Pubs Week showed an astonishing 20 pubs close every month and 27% of the UK's adults never visit the pub!

For the Week, CAMRA estimates over 15,000 pubs came on board which is almost a quarter of all British pubs. This is a magnificent start and something CAMRA hopes to build on next year. The dates for next year will be 21st to 28th February.

The Week attracted a lot of media attention and widespread industry support - the latter was critical to its success. Supporters included Cask Marque, Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns, Laurel Pub Co, Charles Wells, Scottish & Newcastle Retail and Everards.

MPs backed Commons Early Day Motion 674 which recognised the importance of pubs in the lives of many people.

Sponsor Ashok Kumar, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "For many people pubs are an essential part of the local community and are used for local meetings and social occasions, as well as providing a lifeline to people without other support networks in place. I am saddened that so many good local pubs are forced to close each year and am happy to give my support to CAMRA's campaign."


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