Friday, 23 April 2010

Liver bird poaches an egg

I don't know what it is about Liverpool CAMRA Branch. All the individual members I've met are fine, but collectively it sometimes seems to go wrong, as when they obeyed orders from Deuchars to ban all brewers from the Liverpool beer festival trade session.

Recently, on one of my regular trips to Liverpool, I picked up a copy of Mersey Ale, the local CAMRA magazine, which is normally very good. I read an article about St Helens CAMRA becoming a fully separate branch, having been a sub-branch of Liverpool. As I read it, I was expecting congratulations and best wishes to the new branch. Instead, the article said members would no longer get information and communications from Liverpool Branch, but the new St Helens one instead, and that members were entitled to belong to any branch they wanted. If St Helens members wanted to change their branch (with the implied phrase "and stay with Liverpool"), they should contact the national Membership Secretary; the writer even gave the relevant address, phone number and e-mail.

It's quite graceless to announce the new branch by trying to poach its members, especially as this rather clumsy attempt to keep people in the Liverpool fold took at least 40% of the article. I doubt many will take up the offer ~ why get information about an area you don't live in instead of about where you do? Have I got the wrong end of the stick here?  Click here and go to page 6 of the on-line copy of the magazine to judge for yourself.

If I were a CAMRA member in St Helens, I'd be thinking, "With friends like these..."

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