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                                 Chairman's Report
Dave Stubbins - Furness Branch Chairman
The branch held its Annual General Meeting at the beginning of February, which was well attended. Amongst the comments I included in my report was the following paragraph:
“At national level the Campaign has now attracted over 190,000 members which demonstrates the breadth of its appeal. However, the last time I saw the breakdown of the figures, a few months ago, the number of members under the age of 30 was under 11,000, a level not increasing over the last two years. The failure to appeal to significant number of younger members and the rise in the range of craft keg beers available has led to a rethink of the primary aims of the Campaign and a wide-ranging consultation with the membership on the future direction of the Campaign. A recent Press Release from the CAMRA Press Office, available to read on the front page of CAMRA’s web site, is headed “CAMRA courts all beer and cider drinkers as it seeks to widen remit”. The release goes on to state “My colleagues and I will be making ourselves available at meetings around the country over the next three months so that members can ask us questions about the proposed changes.”
In mid March, the West Pennines consultation meeting took place in Ulverston and we welcomed Tim Page, Chief Executive Officer of CAMRA, accompanied by Ben Wilkinson, a member of CAMRA’s National Executive. They gave a very good presentation and fielded a number of questions and a lively but fair discussion followed.
Voting on the proposed changes and on the election of members of the National Executive is now open so, if you are a CAMRA member I urge you to consider the proposals carefully and cast your vote, as the outcome of this vote will be very significant in the future direction of the Campaign.
I further reported on our success in attracting members to our monthly meetings as follows: “At branch level we have continued to see a regular attendance at our monthly branch meetings- we try to keep them as light hearted
InnQuirer Issue 66 - Spring 2018
as possible whilst ensuring that matters circulated by CAMRA nationally are properly discussed, as we appreciate that they are seen as a social event by many members and that falls within one of CAMRA’s key campaigns nationally- to get more people drinking real ale. We are actually getting to the point where we may have to reduce the number of different venues we use for meetings simply to get everyone in.”
The next few meetings are mentioned in the branch diary- please come and join in the fun!
I then went on to talk about our breweries as follows:
“We have 15 breweries in the branch, all of whom are producing excellent real ales. The Good Beer Guide lists on page 32 all the beers that made it to the final of the Champion Beer of Britain. In that list are eight beers from Cumbrian brewers, of which 5 are from the Furness branch area, being Foxfield Dark Mild and no fewer than four from Barngates, being Cracker, Tag Lag, Red Bull Terrier and Goodhew’s Dry Stout. Red Bull Terrier went on to win the Silver Prize in the Strong Bitters category.”
Unfortunately, since the beginning of the month, two of those brewers have decided to cease brewing, Stringers and Hardknott. The advert for Stringers on page 27 says “That’s all folks. Thanks for your support and custom”. Dave Bailey of Hardknott, on the other hand, has given detailed reasons for his decision, which can be seen on his blog spot. Both were great breweries and will be sadly missed.
Dave Stubbins Chairman
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