City pub closures made the front page of the Cambridge News in September. This followed a visit from the bailiffs to the Bun Shop in King Street resulting in a sudden shut-down. Elsewhere the Duke of Argyle, Greyhound, Barfly and Rose and Crown remain out of action. Apart from the last, seemingly to be the victim of a redevelopment scheme, we hope that all these pubs will reopen. The Barfly on Chesterton Road (formerly the Graduate and Fresher & Firkin) had closed "for refurbishment" earlier this year but the lease is now for sale. Nationally the British Beer and Pub Association reckons that five pubs a day are closing - grim times indeed.

Another pub apparently doomed is the Rose and Crown Teversham which we gather is to be converted to a restaurant. Under current planning laws, permission isn't needed for such a change of use.

Which leads on to our regular and ever-lengthening list of pubs which we know to be looking for new licensees. Greene King lead the way, seeking new tenants for:

Punch Taverns have on offer:

The Enterprise Inns list comprises: Fleurets have the lease of the Rosemary Branch Cherry Hinton for sale while the Hopbine Cambridge (Admiral Taverns) and Rose and Crown Histon (Everards) are also on the market.

Stuart Cuthbertson, Bar Manager at the ADC Theatre, Park Street, Cambridge has written to remind us that their bar is open every night the theatre has a performance (usually Tuesday to Saturday, sometimes Sunday). They sell Milton Pegasus and a guest from Milton, both at a very reasonable £2.40 a pint. The bar has just been refurbished and redecorated. Stuart is keen to emphasise that you don't need to be attending a show in order to visit the bar.

Real ale has returned to the Carpenters Arms, Victoria Road, Cambridge, with Adnams Bitter and Youngs Bitter on offer when we called. It was without the good stuff during its spell under temporary management.

Charles Wells have bought the Black Horse at Swaffham Bulbeck. Although a free house, this pub never seemed to take full advantage of that status, offering a rather predictable choice of ales.

The Chestnut Tree, West Wratting held its first beer festival in early September, featuring 10 ales from the likes of Titanic, St Austell and Highgate. Landlord Dan Heath tells us that although he is tied to Greene King he tries to make maximum use of their guest beer range and is looking to have two non-GK beers generally available.

The Prince Albert, Stow-cum-Quy is closed and boarded up - all looks rather terminal. Ten years or so ago this was not only one of the top real ale pubs in the area but in the whole country, attracting visitors from far and wide. Since legendary licensee Ian Henderson departed it's been a very pale shadow, not helped by its remote position - but it would still be a sad loss.

Congratulations to the Salisbury Arms, Tenison Road, Cambridge which has been named Best Cask Ale and Best Cellar pub in East Anglia in the Morning Advertiser Great British Pub Awards. They now go forward into the national awards. More good news from the Salisbury - landlord Dave Green negotiated a "free of tie" handpump with Charles Wells when he and wife Angela took over a couple of years back. This has been extended so that up to three handpulls can sell beers of Dave's choice and he intends to take enthusiastic part in our burgeoning LocAle scheme.

The Zebra, Maids Causeway, Cambridge has re-opened, sporting an internal colour scheme of very bright red and cream. It's now also open all day. Greene King IPA and Abbot were on when we dropped by.

Another Greene King pub with a new licensee is the White Swan Conington. Sarah Bleet is a villager who was fed up with her job and felt her local needed some tender loving care especially as her son and daughter worked there. The pub is also the reason why her family is in the village because her great great grandparents came to Conington in the nineteenth century to run the White Swan. Sarah took over in June and closed the place for a week to give it a deep clean and a new paint job - but the historic features and multi-area layout have thankfully been retained, as has the bar billiards table. Real ales when we called in were Greene King XX Mild, IPA, Speckled Hen and the seasonal Sundance. The Mild had recently replaced Abbot as a bit of an experiment and was going down well. Sarah also serves good non-fancy food though she is adamant that this is a pub first and foremost - ears, music.

In ALE 334, we mentioned that CAMRA had spoken at the public enquiry into the appeal against the District Council's refusal to grant planning consent for conversion of the White Horse, West Wickham into a private house. The Planning Inspector has now given his verdict and, yippee, the appeal has been thrown out. We hope that the owner will throw in the towel and sell it to one of the several parties who would like to reopen it as a pub.

And another planning success - South Cambs DC have refused the application to build a house on land next to the excellent Black Horse Rampton which would have consumed parts of the car park and garden.

Hearty congratulations to the Chequers, Little Gransden (just outside our Branch area) which has won CAMRA's East Anglia Regional Pub of the Year Award for 2008. It now goes forward to the national competition and we wish Bob and Wendy all the best.

Improvements have taken place at the Queen Edith, Wulfstan Way, Cambridge. Partitions have been removed near the front entrance to give immediate access to the whole bar area, now fully refurnished. Two handpumps have been added to the existing two with Greene King IPA and Tetley Mild(!) on permanently; the guest beers on a recent visit were Black Sheep Bitter and Shepherd Neame Bishops Finger. The food offering is also enhanced with baguettes, jackets and soup at very reasonable prices plus curries at £5.95 and a Sunday Roast with all the trimmings for £6.95. And don't miss the history lesson on Queen Edith herself at the back of the menu.