Lancaster's local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale is celebrating the national organisation's 40th birthday with two events celebrating local pubs and beers, both part of Local Pubs Week (22nd - 29th October).
The theme of the week is "Community and Renewal", noting the important role Pubs play in the local community as meeting venues, centres of entertainment and places where people can drink responsibly in a sociable atmosphere. However, they are under threat as never before, victims of a mad taxation policy, cheap supermarket outlets, pub company greed and a deteriorating economic situation.
But pubs are fighting back and the ideas "community" and "renewal" are central to the stories of four local pubs that feature in LPW activties. The award-winning George & Dragon on Lancaster's Quay, the Golden Ball (Snatchems) and the Smugglers’ Den in Morecambe are pubs that have either been transformed, re-opened after a period of closure or face possible closure.
The Borough in Dalton Square, Lancaster, once a bog standard drinking place, has also been transformed by the current managers into a centre of excellence for real ale and food and on Tuesday 25th October, will host a meeting to mark CAMRA's 40th and Mitchell's 140th anniversaries.
The evening will highlight, with slides, the role of Mitchell's locals, local pub design, the present and future of the firm, and look at the dramatic achievements and priorities of CAMRA, Britain's biggest consumer organisation.
That's followed on Thursday 27th October by a visit to several local pubs, starting at the George & Dragon at 7.30pm, followed by visits to to the Golden Ball at Snatchems and Morecambe’s Smugglers' Den. Celebrating the success of just three local pubs that are bucking the trend of declining popularity and sales in the face of various social changes, it will be a chance to sample some fine ales and talk to the people who are running great community locals against all the odds.
• Refreshments will be provided for the Borough event at £3.50 per head: those intending to come to the meeting are asked to email jay45ATtalktalk.net or phone 0798 264 3161 as as CAMRA need some idea of numbers attending. Please indicate if you would like to eat.
• For the pub tour on Thursday, meet at the George and Dragon on the quay, Lancaster, at 7.30 pm. Transport from the G&D to the other pubs and back: £4. email jay45ATtalktalk.net or telephone 0798 264 3161
• Lunesdale CAMRA web site: www.lunesdalecamra.org.uk