Friday, 20 September 2013

Ale & Hearty reborn?

I wrote in June that Ale & Hearty, the local CAMRA magazine that I have edited for the last couple of years, had folded - please see previous post for the full story. Since then, Mike Perkins of our local CAMRA branch has been in touch with a couple of companies that undertake to collect the adverts and the payments, set the magazine and then return complete issues to us. All we have to do is provide the articles and pictures. After much thought, we have come to an arrangement with one company and I have spent quite a lot of time recently getting together enough items to fill a magazine, editing them (just for the basics such as spelling and punctuation to ensure clarity - I don't rewrite other people's work), suggesting a design for the cover and getting all these off to our new printer.

Although this has been a lengthy task, it's been quite a breeze compared to the last couple of issues I have managed to get published. I haven't had to spend afternoons going around dozens of potential advertisers, firstly to get them to agree to advertise and then a few weeks later to collect the payments, and then having to go back when they're not available, even when we'd arranged to meet them. On one occasion the licensee was upstairs and claimed she didn't have the time to come and see us; we were rather irritated by this as we only needed  five minutes, so we never went back. I haven't had to create adverts or spend hours laying out the whole magazine (including the adverts) in the form virtually ready for the printer, who - to be fair - always went through it and considerably improved my amateur efforts.

We're hoping to have the magazine out for our beer festival next month. For the first time in ages, I'm beginning to hope that we can get our magazine back on track, and published much more regularly than it has been in the last couple of years.


  1. Do let me know if you'd like me to contribute articles on why lager is piss, lager drinkers are idiots or lager turns you into a puking fighting yobbo. I do love a good beardie magazine.

  2. Alas, CL, I am perhaps too soft: you can tell because I have neither beard nor sandals. Lager drinkers can drink what they like as far as I'm concerned, and lager will not insulted in A&H while I'm editor - unlike the magazine of a neighbouring branch, which I shall not name.

    But I usually manage to pick up a copy in Preston.

  3. Great news, Nev. As a coincidence, my branch is also set to relaunch its maagzine.

  4. I am awaiting the aforementioned magazine in Preston. It's been printed, but the local Spoons didn't have a copy on Monday.

    I will look up A&H next time I'm Southport. Probably next month.

    You should come to Preston, Cookie. The pubs are rammed with lout as the people drink little else. We have a Sam's too if you get fed up of Carling.

  5. That's good news about your mag too, Tyson. Our print run was 4,500 and CAMRA tells us that each copy of a local mag is read by up to 4 people each, which gives us a potential readership of up to 18,000. CAMRA mags are the most effective way that CAMRA branches communicate with the public, especially the drinking public.

  6. We must have a chat about this Nev.

  7. Good news about the relaunch of your branch magazine, Nev. I wholeheartedly agree that branch magazines are the most effective way for CAMRA to get its message across to the drinking public, and I always make a point of looking out for them when visiting pubs in differnt areas, or picking up a handful of different ones at beer festivals.

    Twenty years ago, I used to edit our branch magazine "Inn View", now sadly defunct, and know only too well what a frustrating task it can be, particularly trying to get people to advertise, and then having to chase them for payment.

    Your new arrangement sounds like a much better idea, and if there are companies offering this sort of service in our local area, then it might be time to re-launch our magazine.

  8. The two companies we approached aren't local; I've dealt with them by e-mail, and they'll send the final mags by parcel post or courier or some such. If you want, I can get their details for you.


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