Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Happy Birthday!

It's CAMRA's birthday today.  It's exactly 40 years since four disconsolate beer drinkers were sitting in a pub in Ireland, bemoaning the state of British beer, and - unusually for pub moaners - decided to do something about it by forming CAMRA, the Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale (later changed to the snappier Campaign for Real Ale, much easier to say after a few drinks).  Since then, CAMRA has gained another 122,000 members, so next time you hear someone moaning in a pub, you never know what might come of it - although being barred is also a possible outcome.

I have perused copies of the first two Good Beer Guides to see whether pubs in our CAMRA Branch's area (Southport and West Lancs) get a mention, but there's none in the hand-typed and, I presume, spirit duplicated 1972 edition, in which the nearest pub is the Myerscough in Samlesbury on the far side of Preston.  I also noticed that it featured no Liverpool pubs either, which is interesting in view of the assertion that the Roscoe Head in Liverpool has been in every issue of the guide. 

In the 1974 guide, which looks rather more professionally produced, there are two pubs mentioned for our area:  the Guest House, Union Street, Southport and the Lord Nelson, Out Lane, Croston, both Higson's houses at the time, and both good real ale houses still.  I've cut and pasted the entries into one document and so I present to you our local and complete Good Beer Guide, 1974 style.  Cheers!


  1. Yeah, I saw these too, very interesting. A real snapshot of how things used to be. Easy to forget that pubs closed in the afternoon.

  2. True. I remember my first all-day opening in August 1988 (not counting stay behinds). It seemed odd to be served openly at 4.30 in the afternoon.


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