For those of you who don’t know me, I am an exiled Yorkshire man who has been living down in Cheltenham for the past 17 years and following January’s AGM, I have taken over from Veronica as Chair of the Branch. I would like to thank Veronica for her sterling work as Chairman over the past two years as we moved from sub branch to full branch. She leaves big shoes to fill, although I do have her continued support as Social Secretary and I hope you will join her on the many and varied events she has planned for the next year.
Since Cheltenham became a full branch, we have gone from strength to strength and are getting close to hitting the magical thousand members. One of our aims for the coming year is to get more members actively involved. The Beer Festival was good at getting lots of people helping and we will be looking for your help again this year but we would like to keep you all involved 12 months a year rather that just for the few days of festival. So please attend the social events, or simply complete beer scores on What Pub? or nominate for Pub of the Season on our website.
This is a great time to be a beer drinker in Cheltenham and I take over as we hit the national headlines with the SPA winning CAMRA National Pub of the Year 2015 and who knows we could make it a double win with the Cheltenham Motor Club in the finals of the Club of the Year competition. Hopefully the win will spur on all the other great pubs in Cheltenham and act as a challenge to them to up their game even more and fight for top spot. Voting for Pub of the Year 2016 closes on our website soon and you can help decide whether the SPA retains its local crown or we have a newcomer to submit to next year‟s national competition.
Finally, this year will see our second real ale festival (CRAF 2016), and we’d be delighted if you joined our growing bunch of volunteers to help us repeat last year‟s success. You can register your interest online via the CRAF 2016 website at http://www.cheltenhamcamra.org.uk/CRAF