Monday, 18 May 2015

Power of the press

Our local paper, the Southport Visiter (sic), has published an on-line list of our best local pubs, and I was pleased to see my local, the Guest House in Union Street, come top. The full list is here. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the entire list; there are some I wouldn't have included and others that are surprising omissions, such as the Zetland, the Mount Pleasant, the Bold (in Churchtown), the Hesketh and the Freshfield. That said, we're quite fortunate in Southport for having some good pubs locally, which is often not the case in seaside towns: at union conferences, we found Blackpool and Bournemouth particularly deficient in this respect.

It's good that our local paper is supporting local pubs. For just over a year, CAMRA has been given a weekly column, which has mostly been written by local CAMRA stalwart, Mike Perkins and, until my previous computer broke down, I contributed several articles, which can be found here. Now that I'm on-line again, I intend to write more; for one thing, Mike could do with a break. I know from my period of editor of local CAMRA magazine, Ale & Hearty, that the local Branch likes to have a magazine and the newspaper column but, with a couple of exceptions, don't feel obliged to lend a hand. I've spoken to a couple of editors in other Branches who have had similar experiences. Regrettably, the tendency to dump tasks on individuals is by no means confined to CAMRA: many mass membership organisations tend to leave the bulk of the work to an individual or small group. Sometimes the individuals concerned prefer it that way, but mostly not.

The list is derived from CAMRA's What Pub website.


  1. I don't see how they get this information from "What Pub?" While CAMRA members use it to enter beer scores, they're not in the public domain and there's nothing else on the site to rank one pub above another.

  2. Actually, I wondered that too.

  3. Martin, Cambridge18 May 2015 at 19:40

    The Merseyside Branch website has provided on-line access to scores in the past (those for GBG pubs cluster closer to 3 out of 5 than you might think). Not sure if Southport part of that branch.

    NB Ale & Hearty one of my favourite branch newsletters; like Opening Times there's good coverage and promotion of "normal"pubs. Quality in the Thwaites/Robbies pubs is notably high too.

  4. If they just compiled a list and didn't use the scoring system, perhaps that's why it appears a little random? Presumably some pubs they knew about anyway.

  5. For info, Southport and West Lancs CAMRA is separate from our neighbours in Liverpool.


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