The FREE Magazine of the Ashford, Folkestone and Romney Marsh branch of CAMRA—The Campaign for Real Ale.
20th Anniversary Edition Where were you when this first edition hit the pubs and clubs ot the area? How much were you paying for a pint of bitter or cider?
How many local breweries were there? What else was happening in 1999? For the answers to these questions… Read On
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Judged “Best CAMRA Magazine in Kent” —again !
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Chairman’s Report It was nice to receive the Kent CAMRA award for the best magazine again, thank you Peter for your efforts. Nigel and Michael have been busy planning several social events and have introduced a “Twenty-thirst of the Month”. This will enable everyone to remember the date where they will arrange visits to various towns or festivals, check the branch website or for CAMRA members the periodic mailout, no excuse to forget the date of our visits which are open to non-members. Next years Good Beer Guide submissions have been made based upon NBSS scores, so keep submitting them. This year’s Pub of the Year (POTY) is the Bowl, Hastingleigh and the runner up is the George, Bethersden. Congratulations to them both. It’s been brought to my attention that several pubs within the branch area are up for sale, if we don’t use them then we are likely to lose our rural and urban pubs. Don’t forget to submit an objection if there is an application for “Change of Use” submitted to the Council. I wish you all a fine summer and hope you visit many of our country pubs and enjoy their gardens if weather permits. Bob.
From the Editor Firstly an Apology to the folk at the Fountain at Seabrook. In a fit of Editorial Incompetence, I miss-named them in the last edition. They are Stewart and Jakki - to whom I send my apologies and wishes for a successful and happy future at the Fountain.
This edition nearly didn’t make it. Four days before being due at the printers, the Desk Top Publisher that I’ve been using for years broke sending all of the copy to that silicon graveyard somewhere in the valley. Four days of staying in, staring at a screen and trying to work a new DTP have left me with sore eyes and a thirst - so watch out the pubs of Folkestone next week. Thanks to all who have contributed with articles and adverts- keep them coming ! Peter.
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Letters to the Editor
Black Horse, Monks Horton
PUBlic Transport Update
Bowl Inn Hastingleigh
The George Bethersden
Egg Rolling and where to do it Local Brewery News
Local Pub News
Marsh Mash - Twenty Years On
Paws for a Pint
LocAle Pubs in the area
Harvey’s of Lewes
Podge Belgian Beer Tours
Potting Shed Hythe
Red Lion Snargate
Smugglers, New Romney
Discover a New Pub this Spring
Small Independent Cidermakers
This Ancient Boro’
Cask Marque Pubs in the area Book Review
White Hart Newenden
Wassailing at Gibbet Oak
To advertise in Marsh Mash, please contact Bob Martin at marshmash.advertising@ camra-afrm.org.uk. Rates are Quarter page (portrait) £35 Half Page (landscape)) £60 Full Page (portrait) £100
Tenterden Beer Festival 2019
Branch Info and Contacts
Copy Date for the Summer Holiday Edition:Articles and Advertisements Friday 5th July Spring is Sprung, the Barley’s ris I wonder where my next beer is. My next beer should be on the bar, But that’s not so I fear. The pub has closed, the pumps are quiet. And so the bar is on the beer. With apologies to Ogden Nash and/or Anon
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Letters Dear All Yesterday, we were in Ashford so we thought we would pop into the new pub – The Made Inn. We were looking forward to it. On arrival we found 1 cask beer and a raft of keg beer. So, we obviously asked for a couple of pints of the cask beer and then noticed a sign for CAMRA discount (on keg beers, but thought this would obviously apply to real ales as well). We showed our cards and were told the discount was only on keg beers!!! We were somewhat surprised, and we enquired why? We were told by the arrogant and really quite rude bar tender: CAMRA members are out of touch and need re-educating on keg beer’, he continued to waffle about keg but we interrupted and told him we were not interested in his stance as the clue was in the name ‘Campaign for Real Ale’ and departed to the garden, drank our beers very quickly and departed. Back in the bad days of the previous keg revolution the drinker was being told what to drink and not to drink which is thankfully why the Campaign came about in the first place. As for his desire to re-educating a section of society such as CAMRA members… We will not be returning to this pub and do not take kindly to being told we need re-educating. Graham & Virginia Hodge AF&RM CAMRA Dear Sir Can someone please explain why it is necessary to have loud music at beer festivals. Several festivals have a quiet session, but these are not universal nor of long duration. Thank you to the organisers of your festival for the relative quiet of the Friday evening session. I go to beer festivals to find and try new beers and discuss my findings with likeminded people. Trying to talk about the beers - and any number of other topics - with over-amplified music pervading the room or tent is impossible. I don’t know how the bar staff manage to understand what customers are asking for; is there a secret sign language that CAMRA members are taught? If there is an answer, please let me and like minded customers know. P.B.Sanders - Folkestone
We welcome letters, whether inky or electric, By post to ;- Marsh Mash. Flat 3, Croft House, 35 Sandgate Hill, Folkestone Kent CT20 3AX By email to:- firstname.lastname@example.org
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PUBlic Transport Update New Timetables The timetables introduced in December seem to be working well—the number of timekeeping stops at present on lightly used services show that there should be better timekeeping when the services have to cope with holiday seasons. We could still do with more (later) buses through New Romney High Street—it’s a long walk back from the Smugglers !
11B bus Chris Excell, has found that one of the 11 services is particularly useful when navigating Romney Marsh in search a pint. An 11B stops at the Red Lion Snargate (southbound) at 1422 (a half pint before closing time) and makes its way to the Bell at Ivychurch at 1441. It then continues to New Romney High street stopping opposite the Smugglers. See page 27 for how to get to Snargate.
Vintage Festival A festival of elderly buses is due to take place on Saturday 6th April at the County showground at Detling. A FREE vintage bus service is due to operate from Ashford Railway station on the day but prior booking is essential. Email:BuckSheeBus1066@btinternet.com Including a mobile phone number. We understand that there will be a beer tent for when you’ve collected all the numbers.
Your Ideas Have you found any suitable routes and times for getting round the Marsh or any of the other out-of-the-way pubs in our area? Please let us know. It could be the start of a branch social.
WARNING - Bus Timetables may well be changing in April. Make Sure that you have an up-to-date version. Public Transport Contacts National Rail Enquiries www.nationalrail.co.uk
03457 4849 50
Local Bus Timetables www.stagecoachbus.com 03456 002299 Traveline www.travelinesoutheast.or.uk 0871 200 2233 (calls to landlines and mobiles cost 12p/min plus your company’s access charge)
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Egg Rolling Is your pub on a hill or even a gentle slope? If so, and you have an amiable landlord (and he has an amiable cleaner), you can try some Egg Rolling this Easter. Opinions on the origins are divided but the two main versions go like this: 1. The origin is Pagan and celebrates the feast of the goddess of Spring, Eostre, from whom we get the word oestrogen. The egg was a symbol of rebirth in the spring and many customs and myths grew up from the idea. 2. The origin is Christian and is symbolic of the rolling away of the stone from Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning. But don’t forget that the early Christians “borrowed” several of their festivals from earlier Pagan festivals e.g. Christmas was held at about the same time of year as Saturnalia. The home of egg-rolling seems to be the North West – around Lancashire where several large-scale Rollings are staged; sometimes sponsored by local chicken-farmers or chocolate manufacturers. The Northern names for Egg Rolling are Pace- or Peace-Egging, thought to refer to Pesach or Passover. Some took place on Good Friday, but most on Easter Sunday. Barak Obama instituted Egg Rolling on the White House lawn while he was President. I’m not sure if the present incumbent will continue this Fake Eggs! The idea of Egg Rolling is to allow your egg to reach the end of the course first and without breaking. That sounds quite easy, but on the day – especially if it’s held by a pub and takes place after opening time, new rules are
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discussed, the person whose egg won last year is barred because he pickled it, so it is left to the children of the customers to play the game. There have to be some rules however – no giving your egg a crafty nudge to give it a head start – names must be written on the egg before starting. My introduction to egg-rolling was at the Clarendon in Sandgate in the time of Edy Dymoke-Byrne (whose name you can still see on the clock at the back of the bar). According to Tony, the Pub Historian, Peter Heselden first mooted the idea in about 1988, and that first Easter was a somewhat underplanned event but worked well enough to make it annual event. Before the introduction of the Official Starting Plank, eggs were balanced on one of the Brewer’s Hill steps and let go on the word of command. Nudging was common, but as everyone did it, there was no great advantage to be gained. The first casualty was Edy’s dog, Sam. This great beast who usually lumbered rather than ran, saw food rolling down the hill and suddenly remembered what his legs were for. Before he could be restrained, he’d eaten several eggs and waddled up the hill looking pleased with himself. It didn’t last – he was spectacularly ill for some days. On subsequent occasions he looked on and whimpered. It wasn’t long before cheating (or attempted cheating) reared its head – but only by the grown-ups! Eggs were blown and filled with plaster of Paris; Eggs were frozen; tape reinforcement disguised in the decoration was used. Prizes were awarded for the Best Decorated Egg, The First, Second and Third Egg and, suitable only for Brewer’s Hill location, the Barnes Wallis Prize; for the owner of the egg that made it all the way down the hill, over the road and into the sea. This has yet to be awarded.
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There was an old Lancashire tale that if you didn’t find, break and crush eggshells, that they would be used as boats by witches but nearer home there is a rule that the Clerk of and Egg-Rolling course must keep hold of his beer glass—and retain the beer therein throughout the day In later years, such was the number of entrants that three or four stages were rolled based on age groups. The over-18s roll was usually fairly raucous – the under -18s took it a lot more seriously.
Easter was synonymous with Egg Rolling through several landlords of the Clarrie and continues to this day – although the Rolling now takes place on Easter Monday. Got a spare egg? Then toddle along to the Earl of Clarendon and you may win a prize. It’ll probably be an egg though…
Antiquarian Books Maps and Prints Bought and Sold
Situated on the B2080 1 mile from Appledore station on bus route 11B
Insurance and Probate Valuations 149 Sandgate Road Folkestone 01303 253016 Www.marrinbook.co.uk
A classic, unspoilt pub specialising in beers from small independent breweries dispensed by gravity. Local cider is always available, no food! Real fires, marble-topped bar & bare floorboards. Unusual pub games and a spacious beer garden. Run by the same family for over 100 years. Listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide since 1985
Monday Closed Tue - Thur 12-3pm & 7-10pm Fri - Sat 12-3pm & 7-11pm Sun 12-4pm & 7-10.30pm BEER FESTIVAL Sat 22nd June
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Local Brewery News Ashford Curious Brew Are opening their brand new brewery, shop and visitor centre as we go to press. Now it’s up to us to visit and pester them into making some Real Cask Ale. Folkestone Dockers Dockers beers can often be found at Chambers in Folkestone. Lympne Range Ales As well as their “all year” range of Golden Shot, Double Tap, CQB and Black ‘Ops, they are now brewing :Spring Loaded 4.4% - American Pale Ale and Beach Head 3.7% - Refreshing, quaffable ale includes chocolate malt and Bramling Cross hops. New Romney Romney Marsh Brewery A new beer “Modern British” 3.8% a fine ruby ale with Archer and Minstrel Hops. The brewery suggested that it is the beer for Brexit - weaker, slightly bitter and home grown. The popular Romney American Pale will soon be available in bottles for the first time—it will be unfiltered and vegan-friendly. Beer production is up by a third on last year with all cask beers selling equally well. The brewery recently installed a fully
automatic cask washing and sterilising system to replace the old labourintensive system. The Pilot at Lydd-on-Sea is regularly taking American Pale Ale which they rebrand as Sleepytime Girl B17. “Somewhere near Bilsington” Hinks Craft Brewery A nano-brewery in a converted motor -cycle shed has been brewing since 1st Sept 2018. Brewing for cask and bottle, the product has been seen in the Little Black Dog in Great Chart and the Gladstone in Brighton. Look out for Hopsession 3.7% and Wildfire 4.4% And next door in Dover Breakwater Breakwater’s Cow Juice won the Best in Festival at last years KESR/ ARRM festival in Tenterden. Cow juice is a classic Milk Stout at 4.4%
Here is Chairman Bob presenting the award to Thom Hall the Head Brewer at Breakwater in their Brewery and Tap.
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Local Pub News Ashford Made Inn Despite a promising start, Made Inn has opted for the keg route. Only one cask beer available and that only on Thursday to Sunday. The CAMRA discount is only available on the keg beers.! Bethersden The George Congrats to Dave and Joanna for being the runners up in the Pub of the Year Contest. The award will be presented during their Beer Festival on 20th April at 1.15. The No 2 bus will get you there. Dungeness Ales by the Rails Ales by the Rails will NOT be open over this Easter Holiday. They will be opening for “special events” over the summer season.
awards on. There will be a Beer Festival on the August Bank Holiday this year with a Folk theme. Ivychurch The Bell Mark and Vanda have called time at the Bell and are planning to retire. They have been at the Bell for twelve years (two more than they intended) and want to hand over to someone with the same passion and enthusiasm as they have demonstrated in the past years. During their stay, the pub has been a multiple winner of Pub-of-the-Year awards and a hub of the Ivychurch community .We wish Mark and Vanda all the very best in their retirement.
Folkestone Exit the Troubador Enter the Tontine Tavern. Welcome to Geran Champ who has taken over as bar manager at the Tavern. Finns Gin and Real Ales A welcome addition to Cheriton High Street, Alfie opened this pub at the beginning of February . Although a number of keg lines are visible, Real Ale form Gadds was available through a system of magic taps . Hastingleigh The Bowl Inn Raised over £3,000 for cancer charities at their last August Bank Holiday Beer Festival.. Oh Yes, Ron and Angie also won the Pub of the Year Award AGAIN. Ron will have to buy a bigger van to paint all of the
Stone-cum-Ebony Memorial Inn This pop-up pub is popping up again over Easter weekend for a mini beerfestival and fish & chip supper. Open all day Sat 20th and Sun 21st opening at 1200. To book a fish and chip supper, email email@example.com. Advert on page 29
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Wittersham The Swan
proper village pub. The owner believes that it has no future as a trading pub and it is currently for sale. If you want further information on the Parish Councils project, email firstname.lastname@example.org Wye Barbers Arms The Barbers Arms closed at the beginning of Feb after 5 years. The Landlord wanted the premises for his own project. It turns out that this project maybe called The Sawyers Arms as a Licence Application under that name is being sought,
After a spell as the “Oxney Gourmet Pie and Burger Bar” the Swan closed its doors last September. Since then, the Parish Council has launched a publicity camWe like to know what’s going on out there paign to gather interested residents toso please send any news - but not gossip gether with a view to forming a community -to Marshmash.email@example.com interest company to buy the Swan with local subscriptions and then launch it as a
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TWENTY YEARS AGO
In the spring of 1999, I was attending meetings and writing reports on the coming Armageddon when digital clocks all over the world would have to learn how to put a “2” at the start of the year. The Four Horsemen were joined by a fifth – an IT consultant – who was trying to work out how much his firm could make from selling “patches” to vaccinate computers against the “Millennium Bug”. As we know, very little happened, but I did receive a night-shift payment for staying on site ready to switch equipment to manual and press the “ON” button. It is good to think that the threatened transport chaos, air travel problems, food shortages, customs shutdowns and lack of imported goods can’t possibly happen today… But what was happening in the world of beer? Opinions differ as to how much a pint was then, but the average was just under £2 per pint. The 1999 Good Beer Guide lists twenty-two pubs and clubs in the
AFRM area (although three had been deleted by the time Marsh Mash Issue 1 had been published), but no breweries. There were only six Independent breweries in the whole of Kent. As the edition was “going to bed”, Editor John Mitchell was shocked when the news of the Chancellor’s first freeze of beer duty was received and had to rewrite his editorial. Amongst the other stories; Chris Excell took us on a journey around the area by bus – there were more, and they ran later in those days, Graham Hodge extolled the merits of Kent Ale and Cider, Mild Ale and the advantages of the “Race Cask Ventilator” as well as organising the 6th Branch Beer Festival at the Rare Breeds Centre near Woodchurch. CAMRA were also successfully fighting against pub closures; The Star at Old Wives Lees had been “illegally” closed by a brewery in Faversham but the combined efforts of Ashford Councillors, the villagers and
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TWENTY YEARS AGO CAMRA members led to a happy ending. In 1999 There were NO Micropubs , the first, the Butchers Arms at Herne did not open until 2005.
launched - but not here. March - Dusty Springfield and Ernie Wise died April - The Minimum Wage was intro duced. £3-00 or £3-60 per hour depending on age. Back to 1979 May - The last colliery horse to work Graham Hodge also went back underground is retired. twenty years, comparing the 1979 June - Prince Edward and Sophie Good Beer Guide (294 pages and Rhys-Jones married 6,000 pubs) with the 1999 edition (576 pages but only 5,000 pubs) Twenty Years On Three pubs had made it to both ediOld Bore predicts that in 2039:tions – The Farriers at Mersham, The Keg Beer will be designated a WeapClarendon at Sandgate, and the on of Mass Destruction. Crown at Stone-in-Oxney. The Cask Ale Brewers will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In the wider world:Marsh Mash will be the Best CAMRA January - The Euro currency is magazine in Kent
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Paws for a pint Comments from your canine correspondent "Following my visit to the brewery at Faversham in the Autumn, I joined the other branch members for our Christmas lunch at the Bouverie Tap. They had terrific turkey tit-bits and good beer. Christmas morning started at the Firkin - good news fellow canines they have doggy treats! I was looking forward to our walk across the cliffs to the Dover Beer Festival. On the day we called in at the Valiant Sailor for lunch and the Royal Oak for shelter from the rain. Whilst one of my human companions spent several hours at the beer festival, I trotted round to the Lanes and had a well deserved rest on their carpet (my human had to take off his boots). Another memorable lunch was at the Shipwrights near Faversham - fantastic dog treats and lovely walk along the creek at the back of the pub. The treat for my male human was called Goacher's. I am looking forward to visiting Finns in Cheriton where I am promised a welcome if not a treat! I'm also wondering whether my humans will soon take me to the Doghouse at Smeeth, perhaps for their beer festival in May. Cheers and waggy tails to you all Gibson."
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This ancienT boro’ tenterden Beer festival In conjunction with the spirit of tenterden Friday 5 July – Sunday 7 July The recreation ground, tenterden Friday 4pm – 10pm, Saturday 10am – 10pm, Sunday 11am -5pm There will be at least 40 real ales and ciders The rest of the festival is The spirit of tenterden Where there will be a gin and wine bar, 2 music stages, food stalls, craft stalls, collectables, arts and crafts, to name but a few. Contact us at, email firstname.lastname@example.org Or Tel; 01580 388815 th
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What is the CAMRA "LocAle" scheme all about? CAMRA LocAle is used for promoting pubs that sell locally-brewed real ale, thereby reducing the number of 'beer miles' travelled and supporting local breweries. The scheme builds on the growing consumer demand for quality local produce and increased awareness of 'green' issues. The benefits of pubs stocking and promoting LocAle are six-fold: 1 Public houses stocking local real ales can increase pub visits. 2 Customers can enjoy a greater beer choice and diversity. 3 .Local brewers will gain increased sales. 4. The local economy will benefit as more money is spent and retained locally. 5. The environment due to fewer 'beer miles' resulting in less road congestion and pollution. 6. Tourism due to the increased sense of local identity and pride. Let's celebrate what makes our locality different. Below is a list of pubs that are known to regularly stock local ales brewed within 30 miles of the pub and served in good condition. Appledore
Bethersden Bodsham Brabourne Lees Brook Burmarsh East Brabourne Elham Elham Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone Great Chart Hastingleigh Hawkinge High Halden Hythe Hythe
George Timber Batts Blue Anchor Honest Miller Shepherd & Crook Five Bells Kings Arms Rose and Crown Chambers Lifeboat Mariner Master Brewer Nailbox Swan & Dog Bowl Inn White Horse Chequers on the Green Britannia Globe Inn
Hythe Hythe Hythe Kennington Lydd-on-Sea Mersham Monks Horton Newenden Pluckley Rolvenden Rolvenden Sandgate Sandgate Shadoxhurst Smeeth Snargate Stelling Minnis Stowting Tenterden Wye Wye
Potting Shed Three Mariners White Hart Old Mill Pilot Farriers Arms Black Horse White Hart Dering Arms Bull Inn Star Sandgate Vaults Ship Kings Head Dog House Red Lion George Inn Tiger Woolpack Hotel New Flying Horse Tickled Trout
Some Off-licence shops sell local beers in bottles:County Fayre in Rendezvous St Folkestone The Village Store in Sandgate High Street Have we have missed any?,
let us know.
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Discover “Our Patch” Discover a new pub in 2019 Get out and about and find some of the remoter pubs in the Ashford, Folkestone and Romney Marsh Branch area. The map on the centre pages shows the towns and villages in our branch area that have one or more pubs serving Real Ale. Use the map in conjunction with the WhatPub web site to find that little gem that you’ve driven past many times and wished that you’d had time to visit. The towns and villages are colour coded to show how easy (or difficult) it is to visit them by public transport. The main bus routes and railway lines are shown with the relevant bus numbers and train lines. Needless to say, some villages are well off the beaten track and some walking will be necessary, as will an Ordnance Survey map. Do not rely on the mapping and compass facilities on mobile phones—even if they say they are “smart”. Suitable clothing and boots will be required on some routes and hi-vis jackets are recommended for those routes along country roads where the locals rarely see visitors—until it’s too late. It might be a good idea to remove any yellow jackets before you enter the pub in case you are taken for French agitateurs. The places with GREEN dots can be reached by public transport with a bus at least every hour. Bus timetables can be obtained at Folkestone and Canterbury Bus Stations and some Tourist Information Offices and Libraries. If you download a bus timetable from Traveline you will also find a list of ALL of the stops on that route. Paper and downloaded timetables also have a fairly detailed map of the routes. Two green spots have an R on them - best to get there by rail from the stations marked. Make sure to get the slow Charing Cross train. The Yellow Spots Some Marsh pubs are served by the 11 Service (see page 6) but these are few and vary their route. It may mean a walk home. The 123 service operates in the Egerton and Smarden area and Munday Bois is a short walk from Egerton or Pluckley. It also goes to Biddenden Vinyard. Only four trips each way but none on Saturday or Sunday. Rolvenden Layne is a mile or so from the 2 service stop in Rolvenden. Stone in Oxney is best approached from the Wittersham direction on the 312 from Tenterden or Rye. Alight at The Stocks and follow the road to Appledore. Snargate is best approached from the 11 bus stop at Brenzett. A walk Appledore railway station is an alternative, but the road from Brenzett is safer
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Note that the 2 services from Ashford to Tenterden run hourly but take alternate routes.
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Bus Service every hour or better Infrequent bus service - or more than a mile from the nearest stop. No Bus Service - longer walk required.
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Discover “Our Patch” The Yellow Spots - cont. Moving up North, Westwell can be reached from the Hothfield stops on the 10X service and Boughton Aluph from the 1 service after its visit to Wye From Wye, Brook can be reached walking South along roads or footpaths. East Brabourne is a shortish walk from the 10 service stop at Brabourne Lees. Paddlesworth is a shortish walk from the 73 route stop at the Hawkinge Battle of Britain Museum. The 73 can be confusing as it takes a circular course. Enquire at Folkestone Bus station for the shortest part of the loop. West Hythe, is best reached from the 102 stop at Botolph’s Bridge Road. An alternative is to take a pleasant stroll along the Royal Military Canal footpath from Hythe. And now for the Amber Spots For these you will definitely need a proper, paper map. They are all on the ordnance Survey Explorer No 138 but they are all at the far left hand side, so a copy of sheet 137 may be handy if you are coming from the direction of Wye or Brabourne Lees. The roads are narrow and steep at times so full regalia of hi-vis and boots will be needed. I have managed to get to Hastingleigh on foot from the 10 service stop at Brabourne Lees, where the roads are less steep cutting diagonally across the escarpment. However, the routes are up to you as only you know your preferences and limitations. Make sure that you check opening and closing times with WhatPub before you set out as mobile phone coverage may be scratchy in some of the area. Another thing to remember is that there is a difference between Re-Hydrating and Quaffing - drink a pint of water first, then start on the ale. It is all worthwhile. Whether it’s on the flat(ish) Romney Marsh or in the hills above Wye, you’ll find some splendid pubs, beers and ciders. Please let us know of your travels and of any new routes to the outlying pubs that you find. And don’t forget the kudos factor when you return to your local and say...
“I found a new pub yesterday!” Please note that all of the information in this article is given in good faith and the Branch and CAMRA cannot be held responsible for any errors that may cause inconvenience.
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SICA Small Independent Cidermakers Association “…it seems ludicrous that we need to prove that a British cider or perry is made from fresh British grown and picked fruit…”
Smoke & Mirrors. You know the sort of thing - that “closing down sale” which never ends… that Recommended Retail Price which may (or may not) have been available somewhere in the world at some point in time… the small print, that well known trap for the unwary… Or that beer which has a funky new label and includes the word “craft” even though you know it’s the same old national industrial brew, a bit like “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. So it is with cider and of course perry. Ask anyone what cider is and the answer will be an alcoholic drink made from apples. However, the changes in recent years over what the label “cider” is applied to, has turned that answer into a vague notion. Only a few years ago, the Government and HMRC had to stipulate what the term “cider” could be applied to and specify the minimum juice content - a lowly 35% if you are interested! Then there are the myriad of flavours and colours being added to that apple juice, but it was and is still, being labelled and sold as “traditional” or “real” cider. And where did those apples come from to make the cider? Fresh picked from an apple tree growing in the UK - or imported as concentrate from the biggest manufacturers of apple concentrate in the world such as China or the USA or Poland? These and other points all add up to the confusion facing consumers who are interested in the provenance of their chosen drink. There is no compulsory ingredient labelling for alcoholic drinks so finding out facts is often a shot in the dark; and what is listed may be meaningless marketing- and/or ad-men drivel. Example: “Made with 100% real apple juice.” Does that mean only the minimum 35% of the drink is real apple juice? More smoke & mirrors? Just as with the discerning beer drinker and passionate craft brewer, so discerning cider drinkers and small independent craft cidermakers began to despair. Some cidermakers have tried to tackle the issue of what “real cider” is - or at least should be - but have been thwarted and unsuccessful. CAMRA have their own “definition” of course, but let’s be honest it has no teeth and sadly that definition is even ignored by some CAMRA festivals who should be campaigning for and promoting those cider and perry that do meet or exceed said CAMRA definition.
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SICA In the summer of 2018, another small group of cidermakers got together and threw around the idea of having a Quality Mark for cider which had some legal basis in that it could only be applied to products meeting specific criteria; such as juice content, where the apples came from, and that the apples were fresh picked. Steered by James Mcilwraith of Sampford Courtenay Cider in Devon, this group of cidermakers became the Small Independent Cidermakers Association and began to attract other like-minded passionate craft cidermakers from around the UK. Following the all-day “Cider X” conference at Exeter University in September 2018, agreement was made to move forward and set up a Community Interest Company - importantly one that is legally registered and so has teeth. A group of directors has been set up with all but one being a small passionate craft cidermaker, and the directors cover all regions of the UK, with two of the directors being based locally here in the East Midlands. SICA has a number of aims but the most important to consumers will be the introduction of the UK’s first National Cider Quality Mark, auditing how the cider or perry has been made, to ensure and maintain product legality and quality. To be able to prove how a cider or perry is made, from what and the percentage juice content, is a major step forward - somehow it seems ludicrous that we need to prove that a British cider or perry is made from fresh British grown and picked fruit, and that it is at least 90% fresh pressed juice. So, key to the aims of the SICA Quality Mark is working with the KIWA Agri Food group who will audit exactly how cider & perry that is to bear the SICA logo is made. Inspection will take place regularly and if a product does not meet or exceed the required standard then the right to carry the SICA Quality Mark logo is withdrawn. This is a guarantee to the consumer that, for once, there are no ‘smoke and mirrors’ involved here. The scheme is deliberately for independent cidermakers classed as “small”, so covers those producing up to 150,000L PA including the Duty Exempt makers producing less than 7,000L PA. Very importantly though, SICA is focused on the quality and integrity of the final product - and not the size of the maker. Part of the aims of the Association also include looking at Duty and campaigning for a Small Cider Duty Relief Scheme, similar in scope and benefit to the relief scheme enjoyed by small brewers; to lobby for changes to existing duty rules and regulations so that they might better reflect the interests of the smaller cider and perry maker; and to preserve and maintain orchards along with building mutually beneficial links with orchard groups and similar societies. More information on SICA can be found on their website at: www.smallindependentcidermakers.co.uk Follow them on their Facebook page: Small Independent Cidermakers Association or via Twitter: @SICACider © Ray Blockley & Nottingham CAMRA. Thanks to Steve Town for sending this to Marsh Mash - and see his photo’s of the Wassailing on pages 30-32
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Local Cask Marque Pubs Cask Marque is an independent body supported by brewers and the licensed trade, designed to ensure that you get a good pint in every accredited pub. There are currently around 9000 accredited pubs throughout the country and to qualify, the beer is assessed twice a year by trained assessors who test for temperature, aroma, appearance and taste. To gain full marks the temperature should be within the range 10 and 14Â°C. Cask Marque accredited pubs are promoted through the Cask Marque App, Cask Finder online, the plaque, certificate and point of sale material. For beer drinkers, one useful part of their web site is the ability to let them know if you experience a bad pint in any of their accredited pubs. The Ale Trail gives rewards for visiting pubs by scanning the OR code on the pub's certificate. Currently visit 50 different pubs and you get a fridge magnet bottle opener. Visit the website at www.cask-marque.co.uk Below is the current list of accredited pubs in our branch area:Bybrook Barn County Hotel Locomotive Swan Ocean Grand Hotel Guildhall Mariner Samuel Peto Ship Inn Little Black Dog
Ashford Ashford Ashford Ashford Dymchurch Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone Folkestone Great Chart
Romney Sands Greatstone Boathouse Bell Ivychurch George Lydd Royal Oak Lydd Pilot Inn Lydd on Sea Cinq Port Arms New Romney Ship Hotel New Romney Rose and Crown Pluckley Drum Inn Stanford Vine Inn Tenterden Botolphs Bridge Inn West Hythe
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Book Review Ian Clayton’s latest book will bring back memories to all of you reading Marsh Mash. It’s all about his love affair with pubs, their beer and their characters since his first taste of beer at the tender age of four, when he tried some of his grandfather’s unguarded pint – and liked it. The beer stories are mainly from the Featherstone area of Yorkshire, so tight sparklers, creamy heads and working men’s clubs are at the centre of them, but excursions to Germany, Poland and even Devon weave (sometimes unsteadily) through the book. Wherever Ian is – and it’s usually in a pub – there are characters to laugh or cry with but rarely at. Some of the characters and their stories are definitely not for maiden aunts but to anyone who has spent any appreciable time in a pub – whether in Yorkshire or Kent – they will be recognisable and start the “I knew someone like that…” stories,
that are what the social life of the pub is all about. Ian maintains that it’s the people – customers, landlords and staff – who make pubs what they are, but of course the beer helps. His quest for the perfect pub is ongoing, but it will be hard for him to forsake the Yorkshire bitter pulled through a tight sparkler. Many of his tales were remembered in the days of the smaller, often familyrun, breweries of the 70s and 80s before the bigger breweries bought them up and going back further he talks with the previous generation and their tales of long gone breweries. One line sums up Ian’s attitude to pubs and beer.
“Ron Crabtree was a complete one-off, a living legend of a landlord, a brewer of fine ale, a grumpy old bugger and one of the nicest men I ever met in a pub.”
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Book Review All in all a splendid book for anyone who has been in a pub and liked it and the beer. A nostalgia trip for some of us and a challenge for the rest. I’ll forgive Ian his liking for tight sparklers, creamy heads and all that waffle about rugby as long as he continues telling us his tales and having Adventures in Public Houses. It’s the Beer Talking, is published by Route Publishing of Pontefract at £12-99 . ISBN 978-1-901927-74-0
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WASSAIL ! Wassailing the Orchards at Gibbet Oak Farm Nightingale Cider Company, hosted their second Wassailing of the Orchards on the 19th January at Gibbet Oak Farm, Tenterden. After the success of the first event in 2018, this has now become an annual celebration. The tradition of wassailing dates back to pagan times, ‘Was Hael’ coming from the Old English meaning Good Health! The first record of wassailing was in Kent in the 1400s! If you don’t know what a wassail is, it’s a celebration of the harvest past, and for the future crop, a blessing of the trees and a scaring off of the evil spirits! This year, we were welcomed back Ashford Folk Musicians, who lead the torch led procession and then the evening’s entertainment, supported by Woodchurch Morris side, dancing and joining in the ceremony. The orchard ceremony which lasted for half an hour was led by our Wassail master, Richard Wheeler. Richard took our guests through the ceremony, which included the orchard blessing, the lighting of the fires, and orchard toast where cider was passed around to every one of age, with the grand finale- the scaring away of the spirits! Gun shots signalled our guests Adults and children alike, to make as much noise as possible, shouting, banging of cans, and the playing of instruments, this year we’re are sure to have a good harvest!
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Following the ceremony, our guests headed back up to the farm yard and buildings to continue the festivities. We had a selection of Nightingale ciders and mulled cider, local beer from Old Dairy and fine food supplied by Vine and Country Kitchen.
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WASSAIL ! cont. We’d like to thank all our volunteers and contributors including Richard Wheeler, Ashford Folk and Woodchurch Morris. Special thanks go to Steve Town, fellow cider maker from Beardspoon Cider, Ashford, who provided the fantastic ambient lighting, and was responsible for these fine photos. We also had the support of local community buses – The Tenterden Social Hub and the Rolvenden Rocket, who enabled us to move our guests from Tenterden to the farm.
Next January, we would like to invite CAMRA members and the public back to join us for our third Wassailing of the Orchards. Watch this space for more info. Many Thanks to Sam Nightingale for the Words and Steve Town for the splendid photo’s . We still Need a Cider Representative for the Branch - anyone out there?
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QUIZ Answers The Celebration Steam Ale was brewed in 2004 by the Rother Valley Brewing Co. Stephen Leman at RVBC said that they also brewed the beer for the third and fourth bottles and possibly the second, but not the first or fifthâ€”and certainly not the cider, which was produced by Biddenden. Any ideas out there? The Railway Heritage Group would be pleased to hear. As no-one replied, no-one won the prize which I am currently drinking...
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Beer and Pancakes?
An unlikely combination you may say but all seems well with this group on the Shrove Tuesday outing where we were joined by some of our Dover Branch chums. You see, we do talk to them occasionally...
Beer Festival Easter Weekend 19th-22nd April
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The Eleventh Tenterden Beer Festival CAMRA Kent and East Sussex Railway Beer Festival, Tenterden Town Station. Friday 14 June and Saturday 15 June 2019 Where? At the KESR Tenterden Station, a five minute walk from the High Street and bus stops. Look for the Brown Train signs Opening times: Friday: 6.00 pm – 10.30 pm and Saturday: 11.00 am – 10.30 pm (or until the beer runs out). Admission: purchase a KESR platform ticket if you wish to attend the beer festival only. Entrance to the beer festival is free to card carrying CAMRA members as well as a discount on train travel. Beers and Ciders A range of 50 real ales and 25 ciders and perry. Will be available in the Festival Marquee and Real Ales and cider will be available on some train departures from 10.40 am.
Food available on Friday evening and Saturday all day into the evening. Live music on Saturday afternoon and into the evening Families welcome. Limited camping available but MUST be booked in advance, camper vans and caravans also welcome – to book a pitch phone the railway on 01580 765155. Service buses operate to Tenterden from: Ashford (2 or 2A), Maidstone (12), Tunbridge Wells (297), Hastings (2), Rye (312). Railway Stations: either Headcorn (connecting bus 12) or Ashford International (connecting bus 2 or 2A), Hastings (connecting bus 2). For full bus timetable, please contact relevant operator. For festival info call 01580 240104. Email: email@example.com or visit the branch website: www.camra-afrm.org.uk. Volunteers Needed—to help with setting up the Festival on Weds 12th, Thurs 13th and Friday 14th, as well as for serving behind the bar on the Friday and Saturday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your availability and a contact phone number. Warning—May contain Morris Dancers.
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Shirleyâ€™s Recipe Stuffed Pork Chops baked in Beer Serves 4
Ingredients: 4 x 8oz/200g Boneless Pork Chops 1 x 500ml bottle/1 x pint strong, non-bitter beer (5% or over) Eg Marstonâ€™s Old Empire IPA 1oz/25g Butter or similar substitute i.e. Olive spread to fry chops in For the stuffing: 1oz/25g butter or similar substitute i.e. Olive spread 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped or grated 1 medium cooking apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped or grated 8 pitted dried dates (approx. 2oz/50g) finely chopped 1oz/25g walnuts, finely chopped 1 medium egg, beaten 4 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs Salt & Pepper Method: Pour half of the beer into a glass to enjoy whilst making this dish â€“ you will need 250ml or half pint for this recipe. Set oven to 190 C/425 F or Gas mark7. Make the stuffing: Melt the butter in a heavy base frying pan and gently fry the onion until soft, remove from the heat, add all the other stuffing ingredients and mix well. Remove stuffing from pan and place in a bowl, then set to one side.
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Shirleyâ€™s Recipe Cook the chops: Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in each chop to form a pouch (do not cut right through or the stuffing will fall out). Divide the stuffing into 4, then push it into each chop (if there is too much, keep stuffing to one side and crumble the remaining stuffing over the prepared chops before placing them in the oven). Melt the butter gently in the same pan as the stuffing mix and then brown the chops on each side. Place the chops in an ovenproof dish and pour over the remaining beer, cover chops loosely with tin foil to stop them drying out. Cook in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the meat is tender. During cooking, baste the chops from time to time with the beery fluid. Once cooked, remove dish from oven and drain the liquid into a saucepan, recover the chops and keep them warm (do not put back in the oven else they will dry out). Bring the pan of beery liquid gently to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Serve the chops with vegetables of your choice and either serve the beery syrup separately in a jug or pour it over the chops. Serve with a beery of your choice. Chefâ€™s Note: The chops can be cooked in a heavy based frying pan. Simply prepare as above and rather than using the oven, secure the edges of the chops with a wooden cocktail stick before cooking (this is to ensure the filling does not fall out) and gently cook in the pan with the beer for about 10 minutes on each side or until cooked. Carefully remove the chops from the pan, place chops on a warm plate, remove the cocktail sticks and cover plate with foil to keep warm. Bring the beery liquid in the pan gently to the boil and boil for 10 minutes, then serve as above.
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FORTHCOMING EVENTS CAMRA EVENTS
April Fri/Sat 19th/20th Thanet Easter Beer and Cider Festival at Margate Winter Gardens. Thanet.camra.org.uk for details.
April Fri19th-Mon 22nd The George at Bethersden’ Beer Festival. See below
May Thurs 9th—Sat 11th Bexley Beer Festival at the Dartfordian’s Community Sports Club, Bourne Road www.bexley.camra.org.uk for details Fri 24th-Sun 26th Eastbourne Beer and Cider by the Sea.. Western Lawns, King Edward Parade. www.eastbournebeerfestival.co.uk June Fri 14th –Sat 15th Tenterden Beer Festival—Kent and East Sussex Railway ESR and AFRM branch Full details on page 35.
Thur 18th-Mon 22nd Chamber’s Easter Beer Festival June Sat 22nd The Red Lion at Snargate’s Annual Beer Festival July Sat 20th-Sun 21st Beer and Music Festival at the White Hart in Newenden Latest Details of meetings and socials can be found on the Branch Website www.camra-afrm.org.uk or sign up for our regular email newsletter
AFRM Branch Meetings and Socials. April Sat 20th. George Inn at Bethersden Beer festival and presentation of Pub of the Year runner up award at 1.15 pm. Sun 21st Chambers’ Beer Festival—meet at 4pm Thurs 25th AGM at the Mariner on Folkestone Stade at 7pm light refreshments available. May Weds 1st—May morning celebrations– meet Sunny Sands Beach at Folkestone at 0730 Sat 11th Minibus trip West of Ashford to visit our more rural pubs. Book your seat asap at email@example.com . Fare £15 + £5 for optional lunch. Leaves Ashford (domestic) railway station at 11.30 And of course the whole branch will turn up to help at the Tenterden Beer Festival on the 14th/15th June… won’t they?
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BRANCH INFORMATION Marsh Mash is produced by the Ashford, Folkestone and Romney Marsh Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale Ltd. (CAMRA)
Contributions, letters, pub reports and news are always welcome. Please write to:Marsh Mash at Flat 3, Croft House, 35 Sandgate Hill, Folkestone CT20 3AX Or email:-
Editor ; Peter Chamberlain Contributors:- Chris Excell, Keith and Shirley Johnson, Sam Nightingale, Steve Town. Marc firstname.lastname@example.org Philips, Ginny Hodge, The egg rollers of Brewer’s Hill, Michael Line and, of course, Gibson. Views expressed are not necessarily 4000 copies are distributed to pubs locally. Marsh Mash is also available to download in pdf format from our website and issuu.com
those of the editor, CAMRA limited, or the Branch. The existence of this publication in a particular outlet does not imply an endorsement of the outlet by AF&RM CAMRA.
For more information about the Branch, please visit www.camra-afrm.org.uk AF&RM Branch Contact Details Branch Contact
Chairman Secretary Treasurer Beer Festival organiser Pubs Officers Cider Representative Membership Social Secretary Magazine editor Magazine advertising Webmaster
Bob Martin Michael Line Stephen Rawlings Graham Hodge Marc Philips and Michael Line VACANT Ginny Hodge Nigel North Peter Chamberlain Bob Martin Keith Johnson
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Postal Address:- CAMRA Manacor, Coombewood Lane, Hawkinge CT18 7BZ CAMRA HQ 230 Hatfield Road, St. Albans AL1 4LW telephone 01727 867201 © Campaign for Real Ale 2019 Trading Standards If you need to complain about licenced premises in the area, report the problem to Citizens Advice who will pass the details to your local Trading Standards service. Call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS) helpline on 03454 040506 (Mon-Fri 9am—5pm) or online at www.kent.gov.uk/business/trading-standards
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The Free Magazine of the Ashford, Folkestone & Romney Marsh Branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.