CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is an independent, voluntary organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights.
CAMRA was formed in March 1971 by four men from the north-west who were disillusioned by the domination of the UK beer market by a handful of companies pushing products of low flavour and quality onto the consumer.
In the present day, CAMRA has 147,000 members and has been described as the most successful consumer campaign in Europe.
Locally, the Rochdale, Oldham and Bury Branch, which covers Saddleworth, has over 1200 members, with around 100 in the Saddleworth area, including two committee members.
We have a thriving local pub scene with some cracking pubs but in these hard times, they all need support if they are to continue to play their central role in the community.
CAMRA supports well-run pubs as hubs of community life – whether in rural or urban areas – and believes their continued existence plays a critical social role in UK culture.
Fortunately in the Saddleworth area, despite the odd closure, we are lucky enough to have many excellent pubs selling quality real ale (also known as cask-conditioned beer, or cask ale), despite the fact that nationally 18 pubs a week are closing.
Community Pubs Month will run throughout April 2013, following a very successful launch last year. The aims of this campaign are to encourage pubs, with support from CAMRA, to organise and market a number of events in April which will hopefully result in more trade.
It kicks starts a year’s activity to help support CAMRA’s Key Campaign of raising the profile of pub-going and increasing the number of people using pubs regularly.
Saddleworth is blessed with some excellent pubs, and currently has a very creditable eight pubs in CAMRA’s coveted Good Beer Guide. Competition for places is fierce, as an entry encourages trade, is a mark of quality beer and is of course, a feather in the licensee’s cap.
One such pub for example, is the Royal Oak at the Heights in Delph, a regular in the guide for 21 years and everything a community pub should be.
Each pub has something different to offer though, from great beer, to food, be it snacks or full meals and a wealth of entertainment from darts to football on the telly. There is something for everyone and every mood and occasion and the fun is in finding out which of our wonderful locals suits you best.
When it comes to pubs, it really is a case of ‘use it or lose’ it. It is no use wishing a pub was still there when it has gone, so why not treat yourself to a night out at your local Saddleworth pub, or pop in for lunch or a pint?
A warm welcome is assured and you’ll know that you are doing your bit to help preserve a unique piece of heritage – the local pub. Without its pubs would Saddleworth really be the same?