THE MAGAZINE OF THE THANET BRANCH OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR REAL ALE
L E A
Quarterly Summer 2014 Circulation 2500
Bar None Local Pub News - Page 4
A Walk with a Beer (or Two) - Page 10
A Visit to the National Pub of the Year- Page 8
A1 Diversion - Page 18
WHAT’S THE EDITOR GOT TO SAY?
hanet has a new brewery, Isla Vale, started by two local chaps who are brewing in a house in the Margate district of Westbrook. Their beers have been seen in a few of the island’s pubs since the brewery was registered with the authorities. These have including the Wheel Alehouse in Birchington and obviously the Ales of the Unexpected - the nearest pub to the brewery and these beers have included Natural Blonde (4.7) and Befuggled (5.0). I hope to have more information about the brewery for our next issue. Talking about breweries, Four Candles owner Mike Beaumont, is also hoping to open one by installing a one-
barrel plant in the pub’s cellar. The plant will be able to produce four nine-gallon firkins, equal to about 70 pints each. Mike is working with Canterbury Ales’ boss to get the plan off the ground. It’s good to see the return of the dimpled glass tankard. They have been a feature of pub visits since the 1920s but as lager triumphed over bitter in the 70s and 80s, lager seemed more suited to be drunk out of straight glasses, so landlords stocked these and started serving all drinks in them. In 2001 the dimpled jug stared extinction in the face when the Ravenhead Glass factory in St Helens the last place in this country to make to them - closed. Fortunately foreign manufacturers have taken on board the glass and they are more readily available. I like seeing people drinking traditional style real ales from dimpled jugs as it reminds me of my youth when most people I knew drank real ale out of them. I hope you enjoy this issue of Ale of Thanet, Till next time, stay safe,
Steve Saunders Editor
BRANCH EVENTS Below is a selection of branch activities Wednesday 9 July BRANCH SOCIAL & BUSINESS MEETING Artillery Arms Ramsgate CT11 9JS 8pm KENT CIDER PUB OF THE YEAR PRESENTATION Thursday 21 August Great Tree Ramsgate CT11 7SP 8pm BRANCH SOCIAL & BUSINESS MEETING Wednesday 3 September Brown Jug Dumpton CT10 2EW 8pm Our meetings and events are sometimes subject to change so keep up to date by visiting our website at www.thanet-camra.org.uk or our facebook site where full details of these and other up and coming events are listed.
CONTENTS 4 - Bar None - Local Pub News 6 - Pubs Selling Local Ale 7 - Then & Now 8 - National Pub of the Year 10 - A walk with a Beer (or Two) 13 - Presentation Pictures 14 - Prague Ale, Yes Ale, Not Lager 16 - Landlord’s Memoir 17 - On Your Bike 18 - A1 Diversion 20 - CAMRA Press Releases 24 - The Bats Was ‘Ere 26 - Cider News
Bar None Local Pub News WELCOME to this issue’s Bar None.
the former Westwood fire station. The outlet named after a flower, is due to open in July. A separate budget hotel is also to be built on the site at a later date. No work has yet started on the planned Greene King Hungry Horse pub/ restaurant in nearby Haine Road. NORTH POLE Hereson Road Ramsgate Work is going on at this pub even though it seems the planning application to convert it into a take away restaurant and two dwellings has been withdrawn on the Thanet planning portal site.
TAP ROOM, Northdown Arcade Cliftonville This alehouse in a former hot food takeaway just off Northdown Road, has been further delayed from its March opening date. Owner Phil Leader predicts that he should have the place open in the very near future.
THE SOVEREIGN Harbour Street Ramsgate This former Bramwell Pub Company Smith & Jones’ outlet has been refurbished by new owners Stonegate Pub Company and renamed the Goose. FOUR CANDLES Sowell Street St. Peters YARD OF ALE Northdown Road St. There are plans to start brewing in the Peter’s This alehouse in a converted stables in the pub’s cellar. yard of Nobles funeral directors (hence the name) successfully opened on Good Friday.
CANTERBURY BELL PUB & RESTAURANT Margate Road Westwood Work is progressing well on this new Marston Inns’ pub & restaurant on the Westwood School site next to
ORB Ramsgate Road Margate This popular Shepherd Neame roadside tavern has been refurbished, with the interior being given a modern & contemporary feel to it.
the first floor, with other parts of the pub suffering water damage while the fire brigade had to smash a hole in the roof to tackle the blaze. Licensees John & Lisa Cooke hope to have part of the pub reopened as soon as possible.
EAGLE INN High Street Ramsgate Surprisingly a new premises license application - to supply alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment - has been submitted by Tin Chi Chow to reopen this long closed pub as the New Eagle Inn. We look forward for further developments. HAIR OF THE DOG High Street Minster After getting planning approval to extended the pubs outing hours, landlord Gary Hake has submitted an licensing application to vary his opening hours.
FAYRENESS, Whiteness Road Kingsgate This pub, restaurant and hotel reopened just before Easter after a complete makeover by owners Shepherd Neame and has been re-named the Botany Bay. ROSE INN Albion Street Broadstairs A new planning application has been submitted to the council after the previous one was refused. HOLLY TREE Northdown Road Cliftonville A fire broke out at this large pub at the beginning of June completely destroying the kitchen, the residential flat and part of
CECILâ€™S Cecil Square Margate This pub has been renamed the Gallery. POWELL ARMS, The Square, Birchington This pub still has hoarding's surrounding it. It was originally due to reopen at Easter after it had changed hands earlier in the year. Thatâ€™s it for this issue, Cheers Steve Saunders Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THANET PUBS SELLING LOCALLY BREWED BEERS Listed below are pubs and bars that are known to regularly sell real ales from breweries within 20 miles of Thanet.
Birchington Pegwell Wheel Alehouse, Minnis Sir Stanley Gray Broadstairs Ramsgate Bradstow Mill, Chapel, Charles DickArtillery Arms, Churchill Tavern, Comens, Dolphin, Little Albion, Pavilion, fort Inn, Conqueror Alehouse, Elephant Tartar Frigate, Thirty-Nine Steps & Castle, Great Tree, Hotel De Ville, Dumpton Hovelling Boat, Mariners, Montefiore Brown Jug Arms, Oak Hotel, Queen Charlotte, Margate Queen Head, Red Lion, Rose of EngAles of the Unexpected, Harbour Arms, land Hoy, Lifeboat, Mechanical Elephant, St. Peters Wig and Pen Four Candles, Yard of Ale Minster Westgate Corner House, Hair of the Dog, New Bake & Ale House, Knot Inn, Minster & Monkton Royal British Reading Street (St. Peters) Legion Club White Swan Thanet CAMRA cannot guarantee the availability of a local ale or the quality of the ale served in any establishments listed and cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions to this list.
ALE OF THANET Summer 2014 — Published quarterly by Thanet CAMRA - the Thanet Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale. © Thanet CAMRA 2014 - Circulation 2500 - Printed by printcarrier www.printcarrier.com Any views or comments expressed in Ale of Thanet may not necessarily be those of the Editor, Thanet CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale or their officials. The taking of advertising does not imply that Thanet CAMRA or the Campaign for Real Ale endorse the pub, product or service on offer. Campaign for Real Ale Limited 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 4LW Tel: 01727 867201 www.camra.org.uk Picture contributions this issue are from Beery Steve, Tony Skirving, Tony Walbank, Rob Archer & CAMRA while articles were contributed by CAMRA, Colin Aris, Mick Minter, Tony Skirving, Rob Smalley, Beery Steve , Tony Walbank & Rob Archer. Articles, letters, pub reports & news, photos and suggestions are always welcome. Please email them to: email@example.com or send to Thanet CAMRA address listed below Maps used in this publication are downloaded or are based on data from Open Street Map © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC BY-SA www.openstreetmap.org BRANCH EVENTS Visit our website at www.thanet-camra.org.uk or contact Jo on 0745 028 2962 for further details. BRANCH DETAILS Chairperson: Julian Dungey - firstname.lastname@example.org; Secretary: Jo Walbank - jow@ thanet-camra.org.uk; Treasurer: Debbie Aris - email@example.com; Membership Secretary: Jo Dungey - firstname.lastname@example.org; Pubs Officer and Aot Editor: Steve Saunders - email@example.com All correspondence should be addressed to: Thanet CAMRA c/o 8 Bell Davis Drive Manston Ramsgate Kent CT12 5NA Tel: 0745 028 2962 or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THEN & NOW
As can be seen from these two pictures the Turner Contemporary arts centre is built on land that was once the home to the Ship Inn. This 1965 built pub was named after another Ship Inn that stood on the pier-side, that had harkened back to Margate's fishing village days - around 1700. Sadly this old Cobb's pub disappeared in a redevelopment scheme after WWII, which also claimed the adjoining red brick Metropole Hotel, and a house that had once belonged to the artist J M W Turner.
Turner enjoyed a drink in most of the harbour pubs, including the old Ship; it is not known whether Cobb ales inspired him, but one town amenity certainly did: Margate is one of the rare spots in the country where you can see both the sun rise and set in the sea. By 2003 the pub had been boarded up and a few years later it was demolished to make way for the Turner Centre.
A VISIT TO THE NATIONAL PUB OF THE YEAR
tobacco treat and for those that wish to dine ‘al fresco’. To the rear there is a large beer garden with seating and to be fair not a bad view of the Lancashire hills. On walking in I was greeted with a rather jolly hello and was immediately made to feel welcome and more importantly a valued guest rather than a mere inanimate source of income. In the front portion of the pub there is a small bar with stools and tables & chairs for diners. At each end there are log fires which were providing a nice warmth to proceedings. At the bar I went about the enviable task of selecting an ale to start me off. The ales on offer were Copper Dragon Black Gold, Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, Ilkley Fireside Porter, Ilkley Lotus IPA and Dunscar Bridge Rialto 47. These were joined by Ribble Valley Gold Cider near Clitheroe. Using my home village of Goosnargh just north of the city of Preston and Ribble Valley Gold Perry. I opted for the rather fine Ilkley Fireside Porter which on a rather pleasant but cold Friday certainly passed muster. I was lucky morning I set off on what would prove to enough to get a table as I wished to be not the easiest of journeys. After sample the food on offer, to which of arriving on the local bus service into course I was not disappointed. The menu Preston I made my way to the Railway had plenty of variety for all tastes but Station at the far end of the city centre. being a northern boy there was only going To go to Clitheroe I had to change at Blackburn which saw me hanging around to be one choice; minced beef & onion for the connection for about half an hour. plate pie with chips, mushy peas and lashings of gravy. Simply fantastic. Once in Clitheroe I confirmed with the local Visitor Centre what I had already suspected, there is no bus service to Pendleton. So begrudgingly I made a swift phone call to the local taxi office. Finally arriving at the Swan with Two Necks I was greeted with such a quiet ambience which helped erase from my mind the taxi journey. The establishment sits on a quiet road with a stream running parallel, though the occasional rumble past of a tractor momentarily disturbs the peace. To the front there are plenty of benches to sit at for the patron who partakes in a eing a Lancastrian in exile I felt that it was my duty to go up North and pay a visit to CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year, the Swan with Two Necks at Pendleton
Post lunch I managed to sample the Ilkley Lotus IPA and the Dunscar Bridge Rialto 47, again these ales where exceedingly pleasurable. At the bar I entered into a rather enthusiastic conversation with the Landlord. He was taken aback that I had come up North all the way from Thanet; I did admit however that I was on this occasion operating out of Preston. The time passed remarkably quickly and alas
it was time to say farewell owing to afternoon closing time being 14:30. So the dreaded taxi ride back to Clitheroe Station was taken this time round with more comfort, largely because I had such a pleasant afternoon. The journey back to Preston was again spent waiting for the connection at Blackburn but I sat and carefully plotted that once back in Preston I could pay a certain establishment a visit before getting the bus home. So back in Preston I headed to the Black Horse, a gem of a place which is on CAMRAâ€™s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. Being early on a Friday evening it was certainly getting busy. None the less I managed to grab a Robinsons Double Hop and bravely a swift half of Robinsons Old Tom, both ales being in tip top condition. Time to call an end to a marvellous day arrived and I headed off home with a rosy glow. Tony Walbank Pictures by the Author
A WALK WITH A BEER (or TWO)
n recent years the inland walk between Margate and Broadstairs has been designated as the Turner & Dickens walk. It is a pleasant walk passing from a seaside landscape through an urban environment to a countryside scene and back again. The walk starts outside the Droit House in Margate or the Dickens House Museum in Broadstairs and is signed posted throughout with The T & D waymarkers T&D way markers. I started at the Margate end; if you fancy a beer before you start visit the Harbour Arms on the stone pier or the Northern Belle in Mansion Street opposite the pier. Leaving Droit House, pass by the Turner Contemporary Centre and follow the road right. Cross the road via the Pelican crossing at the traffic lights and pass by Barnacles and cross King Street, and following the Parade service road before heading left into Duke Droit House Street after passing the Ruby lounge bar. Follow this short road until you arrive at the Market Place. Turn right and pass between the two buildings on the left, which at one time was the town hall, part of which now operates
as the town museum and includes the mayor’s parlour; head towards the Wig & Pen in left hand corner and continue
into Lombard Street. Then turn right into Hawley Street, cross the road via the Zebra crossing and continue uphill into Cecil Square. The Old Town Hall in the Market Cross Place Union Crescent at the traffic lights and continue forward into Cecil Street. You soon arrive at Hawley Square. This square, along with Cecil Square, were laid out in the Georgian period when Margate became a fashionable seaside resort. Continue to the top corner of the square and turn left and follow the boundary wall and then exit the square, coming out into St John’s Street. Look left down the hill and the Theatre Royal and the Everybody’s Inn can be seen. The Theatre was The Margate Mosaics established by Royal Patent in 1786 and built by Thomas Robson and Charles Mate, opening on the 27 June, 1787. It is the second oldest theatre operating in Great Britain and is the oldest unrestored theatre and proudly
boasts the oldest stage in the country. Its wonderful auditorium dates from the 1874 remodelling of the theatre from designs by J T Robinson. Across the road from the theatre is the Everybody's Inn, a twostorey
eightee nth century hostelry with two late nineteenth century single-storey extensions; it was formerly known as the Shakespeare Tavern and from 1858 until the early 1990s as the London Tavern. The pub has been associated with the theatre since it was built, with many famous thespians agonizing over their lines in the bar. Turn right and head up St John’s Road; on the left can be seen the exterior brick wall surrounding Holy Trinity and St. Johns C of E Primary School. Mounted on part of this wall are ten mosaics designed by pupils and their parents put to together by international artist Martin Cheek and inspired by Turner’s work; they were commissioned by Kent County Council to show the literary connection of and enhance the route. On the corner opposite the mosaics is a former Cobb off-license now a convenience store; on the opposite corner now occupied by flats was once the Druid Arms. Continue forward then turn left into Charlotte Place. On the right is the Quart in a Pint Pot, with its unusual folly in the shape of a castle tower, and then the now closed Spread Eagle on your left
St Peter’s Church Tower Comes Into View
as you turn right into Victoria Road. Follow this road until you reach Church Street on the left. To the right can be seen St. Johns Church, which dates back to
1070, and although greatly enhanced over the years, parts of the original Norman building still can be seen. Preceded into Church Street; this soon becomes St. Peters Footpath, a residential street despite it name. Continue along here until you reach Addiscombe Road, cross and head into the alleyway opposite. This comes out on College Road, cross via the Zebra crossing and proceed into St. Peters Footpath (a road once again). Up ahead on the left can be seen Drapers mill, a traditional smock mill built around 1847 by John Holman of Canterbury, who also built Sarre mill. Continuing along, the road soon becomes a tarmac footpath, which soon turns right and crosses, via a bridge, the main London to Draper’s Mill Ramsgate railway line. The path turns left once over the bridge and continues as a tarmac footpath which skirts the railway boundary fence for a little while before bearing right across fields. Continue along the footpath, which crosses Broadley and Shallows Road on its way to St. Peters. Before long you start to glimpse the tower and then the graveyards of St. Peters Church. The footpath skirts the graveyards before reaching the church, first recorded as being on the site from 1128. It has an early English chancel and the sanctuary has a double Aumbrey. The pointed arched roof dates from the thirteenth century. The battlemented
tower and south porch are in the Perpendicular architectural style from the fifteenth century. The tower is a prominent feature and the large crack on the west side is reputed to have been caused by an earthquake. It was used as a Naval Samson’s Gravestone signalling station in Napoleon times and still claims the right to fly the White Ensign. One of the residents of the churchyard, whose headstone is found at the entrance to the churchyard, is Mr Richard Joy, known because of his strength and size as the ‘Kentish Samson' Opposite the church is the Red Lion where a couple of real ales are served or you may wish to take a short diversion of the route and visit the Yard of Ale micropub - after passing the church turn right into Church Street and continue along here for a couple of minutes Interior of the Yard of Ale and the micropub should be observed up ahead on the corner of Church Street and Northdown Road - otherwise continue forward into St. Peters High Street, passing Nuckell’s Alms-House, built in 1838 on your left; the High Street soon becomes St. Peters Road. Continue along here passing the gated entrance to Salt's Drive on my right; you soon reach the boundary of St. Peters and
Broadstairs. On the right are some more mosaics, these ones designed by pupils of nearby Upton Primary and Charles Dickens Secondary Schools and across the road is the Four Candles Alehouse and the Little Albion Inn. Pass the pubs continue along St The St. Peter’s Mosaics, Four Candles Peters Road Alehouse & Little Albion pub until reaching Fordoun Road on the left. Follow this road before arriving at the Broadway turning left into Broadstairs High Street at the traffic lights ahead. To the right of the rail bridge is Crampton Tower, a former water tower, built by Thomas Crampton in 1863. The tower now houses a railway and The Crampton Tower local history museum, which is well worth a visit. Continuing under the rail bridge I passed Cramptons, formerly the Railway Tavern, until its takeover by Thorley taverns in the 90s; the name keeps a railway connection as Thomas Crampton was an engineer and designed locomotives for the Great Western Railway - sadly no real ale. A few doors further along is another Thorley pub, the Bradstow Mill. This pub, which was built with the coming of the railway in 1863 as the Clarendon Hotel, got its present name when it was rebuilt by Richard Laynerd in the 70s with a interior to portray that of a
windmill - a couple of real ales are normally served. Continue down the High Street, passing Pierremont Hall and Park on the right, then further down the hill the Prince Albert on the left and on the right just before the road narrows Number 23, once known as Ye Olde Crown. At the bottom of the High Street the road bares to the left and becomes Albion Street - to the right in Charlotte Street is the ThirtyNine Steps Alehouse. Proceed into the short alleyway beside the Royal Albion Hotel; turn right at its end and up ahead is the Dickens House Museum and just
beyond is the aptly named Charles Dickens pub. That’s it for this now, the Autumn The Dicken’s House Museum issue sees me leave the isle and head for Fordwich.Safe walking, Beery Steve
The branch have been presenting certificates to various establishment in the last couple months. Left: Branch Chairman Julian Dungey presents Peter Williams, Bake & Alehouse’s landlord, the Thanet Pub of the Year 2014 certificate. Below Left: Julian presents Conqueror landlord Colin Aris with the pub’s third place certificate. Below: Julian presents the branch’s Club of the Year certificate to Minster & Monkton Royal British Legion Club’s Chairman Brian Stephenson and Bar Manager Kathy Evans.
PRAGUE ALE, YES ALE, NOT LAGER
ome small brewers in the Czech Republic have realised there is a greater variety of beer than just pilsner. Czech brewed Pilsner Urquell is the original pilsner and there are plenty of very good lagers in and around Prague and we all have our own preference but they are all similar beers. Which is why we prefer ale, where there is much more diversity. A friend of ours from Atherton, Jay Baxter, had told us about the IPAs and stouts he had discovered on his recent trip so we followed in his footsteps and found some excellent examples of this new trend. Bridget and I have been to Prague quite a few times, the first, not long after the end of communism and each time it has become more “Westernised.” Tesco’s, Marks & Spencer’s, MacDonald’s and all the clubs and strip-joints to cater for stag nights has spoilt city centre drinking in our opinion. However a little further out there are some great bars /restaurants, full of locals, serving great beer. A group of five Prague publicans founded the “Alliance P.I.V.” in 2010 and it had grown to 10 members by our visit, some in other Czech town and cities. This organisation is devoted to high quality and variety of beers from Czech small breweries. The full list of members can be found on their website www.aliancepiv.cz Our two favourites were Kulovy Blesk and Zly Casy both of which are non-smoking which is quite a relief after the smokefilled central city bars. Kulovy Blesk is one of the best places in Prague to try Czech beers. Their beer selection is fantastic - they have 14 beers on tap, and these beers change every week. The interior is cozy, decorated like a well-worn kitchen from the 1960’s and 70’s. Their menu has hearty, filling Czech dishes like duck, rabbit, and goulash, as well as beer snacks and chicken wings. Service is friendly and quick, and you won’t be thirsty waiting for your next beer. All the tables were reserved for the evening but as we were there late
Bridget and Anna Skirving with Michal Peml in Kulovy Blesk
afternoon so we were alright for a couple of hours. This pub also has a large summer garden, which is open from late April until October. Kulovy Blesk is located on Sokolska, by the metro station I.P. Pavlova, on the red line. We enjoyed beers from Matuska, a brewery 20 miles north of Prague - Apollo Gaslaxy Pale 5.5% and Matuska Bad Flash Double IPA 8.2%. Feeling peckish we shared a plate of Czech cheeses and a plate of mixed sausages and were amazed at the portion sizes. Below is a typical beer menu. Try ordering these when you’ve had a few! Kocour Lezak 12° Lager Pivovarsky Dvur Chyne 12° Ale Pernstein Pardubicky Taxis 14° Lager Antos Zlaty Kozak 15° Lager Dobransky Hospodar 11° Wheat Beer Lobkowiocz Demon 12° Lager Chotebor Premium 12° Lager Matuska IPA Raptor 15° Ale Kucour Sumecek 11° Ale Kucour Samuraj 11° Lager Zlata Raketa 17° Ale Kucour Tokaj 14° Ale Kucour Ken 15° Ale Kucour Quaterback 19° Ale Note, strength is still quoted in degrees, a rough guide is 12° = 5%, 19° = 9%
Zly Casy with more than 40 beers on tap on three floors, Zlý Časy is the perfect place to try some fantastic Czech beer.
Serving a large variety, you’ll be able to try everything from classic Czech lagers, dark beers, wheat beers, and the newest Czech beer categoryales. Zlý Časy has a long standing, devout following of beer lovers so, we highly recommend calling there before hand and making a reservation, as this pub fills up fast. There was only one table available when we arrived at about 8pm and this was for locals. Luckily our daughter’s partner is from Prague so he was able to secure it for us. Through him we were able to chat to top barman Martin Kucera, known better as Kvakin. He gave us a pamphlet listing bars similar to Zly Cask in the Czech Republic and was very helpful. Our favourite beer of the evening was Bad Flash again but we did enjoy a 6% stout also brewed by Matuska. The downstairs cellar is cozy; with wood panels, bare brick, and lined with beer bottles and dimly lit, the atmosphere is just right for drinking a few good beers with friends. Due to the large amount of customers sometimes it’s only possible to get service at the bar. To meet popular demand, Zlý Časy has expanded, more than doubling their original pub’s
capacity. Adding a pub upstairs and a middle floor that even has a few outdoor tables, each floor has different beers on tap, it’s OK to get a beer from one floor if you want and sit at a TonySkirving, barman Kvakin and table on Michal Peml in Zlý Časy another. The middle floor is more like a winter garden, with large bench style tables constructed from heavy wood. Located on Čestmírova, take trams 11 or 18 to Náměstí Bratří Synků, or trams 7 or 24 to Otakarova. If you’d like to take some beers home, they have a decent variety of bottles for sale, and a great beer shop next door. It not only has Czech beer but bottles from all over the world with an excellent range of Belgian, American, Scandinavian and Brewdog. Tony Skirving - Pictures by the Author
A LANDLORD’S MEMOIR -
AN INCIDENT AT THE ‘THE ORB’ IN THE 80s
hile talking to one of our customers at the the Orb in the 1980s, he told me that while working for the gas board he had had to enter a cellar of a house in Cliftonville and had been taken aback to see guns and rifles such as Magnums and Kalashnicovs etc. fixed to the walls. At the time there was trouble with the IRA and several attacks in the UK. We were rather suspicious, so I had a word with a friend in the know. On the Saturday I was visiting London to see HMS Birmingham, my son-in-law’s ship. While there I got a phone call from home to say the police had been in touch and would see me on the Sunday morning. On the Sunday it was the last game of the local football season and I had arranged to open early at 11.30 am to give the lads a surprise with a topless barmaid! My daughter woke me up at about 9.30 and said “look out of the window, the Sweeney’s out there!” On looking out of the window I saw several police cars and motor-bike riders. On opening the doors, a police inspector with more pips then I could count asked me about the guns at Cliftonville. I explained the situation about the football team etc. but he wasn’t bothered about that, he only wanted to know the whereabouts in Cliftonville. I had to go to my friends house - we had no mobile phones at that time - to ask where the address was.
Reluctantly he drew me a map of the location of where the house was. I passed this on to the the police and the inspector said ‘ the lads wanted to get the job over so they could come back to the pub for some reason.
At about 2.30pm (remember the old days when we shut on Sunday afternoon) Lesley,one of our customers said their was a motor-bike cop outside who wanted to see me. He thanked me for all the information and said that he wished more people would come forward as we had. He said that the man at the address had moved to the area and was a gun collector, but had not yet told the local police, he was given a reprimand. The officer then said pull the curtains and shut the door and have a good afternoon with the football boys, and no one will bother you the rest of the day and good luck. A memoir of Mick Minter - Orb landlord 1976 - 1994
The following pubs regularly stock Ale of Thanet: Birchington: Wheel Alehouse Broadstairs: Chapel, Thirty-Nine Steps Margate: Ales of the Unexpected, Harbour Arms, Lifeboat, Mechanical Elephant, Northern Belle Minster: Corner House, Hair of the Dog, New Inn, Minster & Monkton Royal British Legion Club Pegwell: Sir Stanley Gray Ramsgate: Artillery Arms, Churchill Tavern, Comfort Inn, Conqueror Alehouse, Great Tree, Hovelling Boat, Montefiore Arms, St. Peters: Four Candles, Yard of Ale Westgate: Bake & Ale House Many other pubs in Thanet and throughout East Kent and beyond also stock Ale of Thanet irregularly. It can also be viewed online at issuu.com/aleofthanet or downloaded from e-ale.org.uk
ON YOUR BIKE A Friday in May saw a group of former work colleagues including a couple of Bexley branch CAMRA members, who had worked together in Dartford set off on their annual bike ride around the Isle. This is how that got on. We got off the train at Birchington and got to the Hair of the Dog at about noon ( the earliest we could get there on off-peak rail rates - two changes of trains with long waits) The proprietor's partner, Julie, was very obliging as when I asked where we could leave the bikes, she asked how many, I said seven, and she First stop of the day at the Hair of the Dog said with lanndlady Julie bring them inside! Well worth a visit and we'll probably return. Then we went on to the Sir Stanley Gray overlooking Pegwell Bay where we've stopped for lunch the two previous years a good stop for food, beer, view and friendly service. We reluctantly decided there to skip the pubs in Ramsgate and Broadstairs (we'd been to all the micropubs before anyway) and go straight to the Yard of Ale, which the proprietor John said he'd open for us with an hour's notice. We're very glad he did - it was well worth a visit, and we stayed for a second drink. It was also excellent for bikes, and the proprietor (actually one of two joint proprietors) had got in a cycle rack to go in the yard that very day. We then headed for the Harbour Arms via the coast which, while having an excellent location, was a disappointment. One beer was clearly off (two of us said so independently, and it was changed without question) but it was still on 15 mins later!
From there we hopped across to the Ales of the Unexpected. The only facilities for bikes were lamp-posts and the like, but the punters were friendly, and I got talking to one of the proprietors of the Isla Vale brewery, visible from the front of the premises. Time was pressing, and we always like to be at the departure station (in this case Birchington) in time for the second-to-last train in case of puncture etc. We achieved this, but because the Wheel Alehouse was so close to the station and most of us also wanted fish and chips we made the joint decision to get the last train, so we went to both. We'd only been to the Wheel at lunchtime before, and this was a disappointment as it was more like a mini pub, though the beer was good. We didn't feel the sense of connection with the proprietor and other customers that you get in most micros, though in fairness it was by this time just after work for most people, and a Friday . So Another beer break from this time in the Yard of Ale there it was back on the train and off home. Three of us living west of Dartford decided to have another at the Robin Hood and Little John in Bexleyheath before being chucked out. The weather was perfect rain-wise (only a few spots at one stage which got us wondering whether to put on something shower-proof but turned out to be unnecessary) and mostly sunny all day, but was rather blowy (and against us from Birchington to Pegwell Bay). Not too cold or too hot either. Rob Archer Pictures by the Author
A1 NEWARK DIVERSION
maller market towns often provide an ideal and accessible location to explore both varieties of beer and characterful pubs; & big enough to support diversity, but not so big to attract bland-branded retail chains or expensive redevelopment. Newark is just such a town lying just off the A1 around three hours from Thanet, on an ideal calling point or stopover on a motorway-standard holiday route to the north of England and Scotland. During the English Civil War Newark was almost unrivalled selection. The pubs, too, are worthy of note. ‘Just Beer’ q was staunchly royalist and withstood a long Nottinghamshire’s first micropub and has won Newark CAMRA’s Pub of the Year for the last three years. In The Castle Ruins nearby siege. The remains of the castle stand Stodman today (under repair!) overlooking the River Street the Trent. But the wealth of this compact town handsome was generated largely since the 18th restoration Century by brewing and malting, taking of the Tudor, advantage of the excellent and plentiful halfwater, the barley from Lincolnshire, the timbered coal from Nottinghamshire and the Prince unrivalled transport links. Indeed the Rupert w Prince Rupert Maltsters’ Association of GB still has its earned it headquarters in the town. joint first place in the 2012 English Brewing has dispersed, but many small Heritage Conservation Award. The Castle
Just Beer Micropub and medium-sized local breweries sell their beer in Newark giving an
Inside the Castle
e, almost opposite the Tourist Information Centre on Castle gate, boosts numerous
handpumps specializes in locale breweries Newark has plenty of former maltings, wharves and breweries, gradually being and amongst the wood beams has smallremoulded internally for new uses, to the scale, comfortable drinking areas. extent that a free An eccentric facility is the Castle Barge r Malting and Brewery a novelty venue moored permanently near the Trent bridge, usually with up to three real ales.
Fox & Crown Across the characterful market square is the Fox and Crown t, a castle Rock pub with a thriving lunchtime trade and close to the theatre. In the evening the Castle and Falcon y is a regular GBG recommendation.
Trail leaflet is available at the TIC, or to view and download from www.newarkcivictrust.org.uk. With Southwell Minster nearby and the Workhouse (National Trust), turning off the A1 could yield a surprising amount of interest as well as refreshment.
ROLL UP, ROLL UP, TO BRITAIN’S BIGGEST PUB Great British Beer Festival, Olympia, London, 12-16 August 2014 beers to over 50,000 thirsty beer lovers AMRA’s Great throughout the week-long event. British Beer The festival will feature 29 bars Festival will be including 11 brewery bars run bringing a carnival by the Nation’s biggest and best atmosphere to brewers of real ale, plus food London’s Olympia and merchandise stalls as well exhibition centre this as a full schedule of summer with an entertainment on the GBBF extravagant circus theme music stage. complete with live-action circus The event is set to be one the performers. biggest and best Great British But fantastic beer will of course remain the star of the show, with over 350 Beer Festival’s ever, so don’t miss out on your place at the festival and buy a ticket different breweries offering 900 different real ales, ciders, perries and international now via www.gbbf.org.uk/tickets
PORTER TAKES TOP WINTER BEER AWARD FOR SECOND YEAR RUNNING Dunham Massey brewery win CAMRA’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain award with Dunham Porter unham Porter, a traditional dark beer we’re just glad that everybody else likes brewed by Dunham Massey Brewery, this beer too, as we really are very proud of it.” has taken the top gong in CAMRA’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain awards, Brewed to a very traditional recipe the beer features all British ingredients following a presentation at the breweries including roasted malt and English grown bar in Stockton Heath. hops. Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Presented at Costello’s Bar, owned and Chairman, presented the award to run by overall Champion brewery Dunham Massey, it’s the second time that Dunham Massey and had this to say on their win, a porter has taken the top spot in the “CAMRA are very keen to preserve the awards, which champion traditional British styles classic British styles such as Porter, which were in recent history on the brink such as Old of dying out altogether, despite the fact it Ale, Barley was once one of the most popular drinks Wine, Porter in Britain. Dunham Porter is a fantastic and Stout. beer that very well represents this Speaking at wonderful style. Dark, extremely the awards flavoursome, yet actually very drinkable ceremony, Head Brewer thanks to its smooth body and great and owner of balance - An excellent beer I would Pictured (L-R): John Costello, Head Brewer and Owner of Dunham Massey Brewery. Gillian Hough, CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival Organiser. Colin recommend anyone gives a try – and a Valentine, CAMRA National Chairman. Nik Antona, CAMRA Champion Beer of Dunham Britain Director. very worthwhile winner of this muchMassey Brewery John Costello had this to say, coveted award.” “As soon as we brewed this beer we knew Winners from the competition will now go it was good and it’s not changed one bit f forward to be judged in the Champion Beer of Britain competition at the Great rom that first test batch we did. To British Beer Festival 2014. win this award is fantastic and
CAMPAIGNERS SAY THE TIED PUB CO MODEL IS A TICKING TIME BOMB THE GOVERNMENT MUST DISARM
AMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has mounted renewed pressure on the Government to act now to save Britain’s struggling pubs, with a petit ion delivered to Business Secretary Vince Cable calling for vital large pub company (pubco) reform. The petition gained over 30,000 signatures in just 5 days and surpassed the 42,000 mark ahead of it being delivered to Vince Cable today*. As well as the delivery of the petition, over 100 campaigners, pub-goers and licensees gathered outside Parliament to rally behind Vince Cable’s pledge to end the Great British Pub Scandal. CAMRA says it is essential that Vince Cable sticks to his guns and makes an announcement in the next few weeks, to allow action before the upcoming General Election.
“It is absolutely vital that the Government disarms the ticking time bomb threatening the nation’s pubs. CAMRA is demanding the introduction of a Pubs Watchdog to rule on disputes between licensees and pubcos, plus a guest beer right and a market rent only option for tied licensees. These measures are essential in order to create a level playing field for licensees, ensuring those tied to the large pubcos are no worse off than those that are free of tie.” Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman. It is now well over 12 months since the Government launched its consultation and despite several assurances of action, including a recent letter to CAMRA from Vince Cable stating that “We intend very soon to publish the Government response to our pubs consultation and to announce the next steps”, the Government has so far failed to make an announcement.
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Currently tied licensees must purchase their beer and other products from the pub company at an inflated rate, which is often at least 50% more expensive than the market rate. As a result 57%** of tied licensees earn less than £10k a year. “The reforms CAMRA are seeking will enable publicans tied to the large pub companies to make a decent living and invest in their business, protecting
thousands of valued pubs and creating a thriving industry. The current model is weighted far too heavily in the favour of the pub company at the expense of the licensee and it is essential the Government acts now to redress the balance, before thousands more people lose their livelihood.” Colin Valentine added.
CAMRA HAILS AN END TO AUTOMATIC PUB PRICE RISES
AMRA branches across the country celebrated in March as Chancellor George Osborne announced good news on tax for Britain’s beer and cider drinkers and pub goers. In his Budget speech the Chancellor: ● cut beer duty by the equivalent of a penny a pint ● froze cider duty at current levels ● removed the hated “alcohol duty escalator” from cider and all other alcoholic drinks, after removing it for beer last year Thanks to the incredible efforts of over 6,500 CAMRA members who lobbied their MP ahead of the Budget, consumers have again raised a glass to the Chancellor to toast another Budget for British pubs and the people who drink in them and supply them. These solid successes, which come after a long history of year-on-year tax hikes on pub drinkers, are based on a year and more of diligent and passionate campaigning by CAMRA members. CAMRA would like to thank its local
branches for their fantastic campaigning efforts in shifting over 500,000 “Budget 2013 success” dripmats and posters, and the many thousands of CAMRA members who lobbied their MP, securing the support of 119 MPs in all. CAMRA is delighted to see the Chancellor implementing an unprecedented second consecutive cut of a penny in beer duty while taking duty on cider off the duty escalator and freezing duty on this traditional British drink. This will not only keep the price of a pint affordable in British pubs but help an industry which has been in overall decline continue on its long road to recovery. The removal of the duty escalator is particularly welcome in promising an end to the prospect of yearon-year above-inflation tax rises which have already seriously damaged the British pub trade. Keeping the price of a pint affordable is vital for the long-term health of the pub sector and CAMRA hopes this latest vote of confidence in British pubs will go some way to slowing the rate of closures, by encouraging more people to make use of their local this summer.
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BRITONS WRONGLY BELIEVE THAT WINE IS HEALTHIER THAN BEER
“The difficulty of measuring the effect of drinking on health is that differences can be masked by other aspects of lifestyle, such as smoking, diet and exercise. A paper 3 from the Harvard School of Public Health in the USA reanalysed the results from a large number of previous studies from around the world to take these differences into account. This research showed strong evidence that moderate consumption of any alcoholic drink is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and that most of this protection comes from the alcohol rather than any other component in the drink”. “There is nothing magic about wine and heart disease; the benefit comes from moderate alcohol consumption. But moderation is the key word. If you drink too much, any health benefits to your cardiovascular system quickly disappear. This is equally true whether your favourite tipple is beer, cider, spirits or wine.” Colin Valentine, CAMRA Chairman said “Recently I met a friend who was rather grumpily nursing a glass of red wine having been told that it was better for him than the real ale that he loves. It’s good to be able to reassure him that this is nonsense; in moderation, beer is just as healthy as wine. As well as the huge range of flavours and styles available to suit any palate, the big country. This suggested that moderate advantage with beer is that it is low in wine drinkers were healthier than nonalcohol. It’s much easier to ensure that drinkers. The crucial point is that it was you don’t overstep the mark and start to a comparison with non-drinkers. When undo the good that a drink can do to your similar studies 2 were carried out in the Czech Republic, a nation of beer drinkers, health. The important thing is to drink as part of a healthy lifestyle. A brisk walk to just the same protective effect was seen the pub for a pint of real ale will do you with beer. This study showed the lowest far more good than sitting on the sofa at risk of heart attacks in men who drank “almost daily or daily” consuming between home with a bottle of wine.” 7- 16 pints of beer a week.” poll carried out for CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, by independent research company TNS, showed that people in the UK are five times more likely to believe that wine is healthier to drink than beer. A survey of 1000 people showed that 67% thought wine drinking is most healthy, compared to only 13% for beer. Professor Charles Bamforth of the University of California, Davis and author of Beer, Health and Nutrition1 said “The myth that wine is in some way healthier than other alcoholic drinks dates back many years to research carried out in France, a predominantly wine drinking
TRADING STANDARDS If you feel that you have been treated unfairly in a pub, club or bar you should contact Trading Standards by either speaking to an advisor at Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visiting the Consumer Direct website at www.comsumerdirect.gov.uk
THE BATS WAS ‘ERE!
ack in early April of this year, Thanet one in Wales. Each visit is logged, photographed and rated by the lads and a was hit by a plague of BATS which wound its way through the pubs and then beermat is presented to the landlord to was gone as quickly as it came. I refer, of course, to that excellent bunch of gentlemen, the Black Country Ale Tairsters. Led by the irrepressible Peter Hill, who has taken over the mantle from his late father John, the Tairsters are currently embarked on the world’s longest pubcrawl, which started in – wait for it – 1984!!! Eat your heart out Beery Steve. In that thirty years, around 18,000 pubs have been visited, including every single
commemorate the event. Clad in jackets hand-made out of bar towels, the BATS have raised thousands of pounds for childrens’ hospitals by requesting donations from the pubs they visit. The Conqueror was number 17,572 on their list and they are pictured during one of their rare stationary moments before dashing off to the fleshpots of Broadstairs. Colin Aris
TOUGH NEW ADJUDICATOR TO PROTECT OVER HALF OF BRITAIN’S PUBS
AMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of plans for a Pubs Adjudicator which will ensure that publicans are treated fairly and will crack down on cases of inflated rents and excessive beer prices charged to publicans. CAMRA’s Head of Communications Tom Stainer said: “We are delighted that after our 10 year campaign the Government is now introducing a Pubs Adjudicator to protect the nation’s pubs. With 28 pubs closing a week it is vital that publicans, who are on the frontline of keeping our valued community pubs open, are given
protection from heavy handed business practices from the big pubcos.” “Publicans could see the price they pay for beer fall by up to 60 pence a pint if the Adjudicator forces the big pubcos to match open market prices. A 60 pence a pint saving would be a huge boost in the battle to keep pubs open and could lead to cheaper pub prices for customers.” “While we urge the Government to go further by introducing guest beer and market rent only options for tied publicans, today’s announcement is great news for publicans and pub goers alike. Over the last decade many thousands of pubs have been lost as big pub companies have squeezed them out of existence with sky-high rents and beer prices.”
CAMRA NAMES THE UK’S BEST CIDERS AND PERRIES
AMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has of judges including cider experts, drinks announced the winners of its National writers and CAMRA members. Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Perry, had this to Cider and Perry Championships. say “That’s fantastic, we’re really pleased, The winner of the Champion Cider of especially on the back of Britain is Sheppy’s Cider the Pomona award last Medium, described by GOLD – Sheppy’s, Medium year – fantastic for us to judges as having “A rich apple aroma, dry yet well- SILVER – Dove Syke, Ribble Valley win for our perry. We’re very proud.” balanced flavour and a Gold clean, refreshing, moreish Andrea Briers, CAMRA BRONZE – Wilce’s, Cider finish.” National Cider and Perry Perry Committee Chair, had The winner of the this to say on the quality Champion Perry of GOLD – Oliver’s, Perry Britain is Oliver’s Perry SILVER – Kent Cider Company, and diversity of entries: “Real Cider and Perry which the judges Perry continues to grow in described as “Initially BRONZE – Raglan Cider Mill, popularity and by the sweet with a dry aftertaste Snowy Owl quality of this year’s – a very balanced perry entrants it is easy to see with great body. why. With such a fantastic range of quality The final round of judging for CAMRA’s National Cider and Perry Championships ciders and perries now being produced all over the UK, the standard of this year’s 2014 took place at the popular Reading competition was higher than ever – the Beer and Cider festival today. The overall winners should be extremely proud competition featured ciders and perries of their achievement as picking a from across the UK, with each cider and perry judged on aroma, flavour, after-taste Champion from such an accomplished field proved very difficult.” and personal enjoyment. The winners were selected by a specially chosen panel
RAMSGATE PUB BEST FOR CIDER
he Great Tree in Ramsgate after scooping the Thanet CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2014 title has now been crowned Kent CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2014. Great Tree landlady Scheherazade Pesante, known to pub regulars as Spee, was overjoyed to have won the Thanet award, but was flabbergasted when told that the pub had now won the Kent title. The pub now goes head to head against three other pubs in a super regional round, the winner going forward to the final round to find the national winner which is announced in October. An evening to present the Kent award has been arranged for Thursday 21 August. Spee is pictured receiving the Thanet award from branch chairman Julian Dungrey.