|The most recent issue of Ale & Hearty|
This meant that I was now responsible, not just for writing a great deal of the mag, asking others to write articles, assembling it and preparing the layout and format for the printers, but also for going around pubs canvassing for adverts, often designing them and collecting the money. Some help was forthcoming for the October 2012 issue, which was brilliant, but most of those helpers became unavailable for what should have been the Spring issue this year.
I eventually realised that, despite my repeated requests, I was not going to get committed permanent help such as I'd had when I became editor, and that each issue would be a daunting mountain to climb every single time. The only consistent help offered was from a Branch member who was in my opinion in danger of being over-committed herself. I had an extended period of ill health - nothing serious, but debilitating - for the couple of months on each side of the New Year, and the stress of worrying about the mag and the size of the job didn't make me feel any better. So I resigned as editor. I was reluctant as I knew that would probably be the end of the mag, but I really could do without the worry.
The real problem is that the people involved in voluntary social activities - not just CAMRA - are getting older, some are not unreasonably scaling back their activities or packing in altogether and there are fewer people prepared to take their places. A lot of the people who are still active in CAMRA now became involved when they were in their 20s and 30s, in some cases decades ago. In fairness, there's no shortage of people who are prepared to spend time criticising what others do, but nothing new there.
I'm not happy about resigning, but if the Branch is serious about wanting a magazine, then it needs to provide some help, not just as a one-off, but on a permanent basis - and it needs to stop expecting those who are already busy with CAMRA to plug every gap. If such help were to become available for Ale & Hearty, I would be prepared to edit it again, assuming the Branch would still want me, but I'm not really expecting to get the call.