• England's 2nd Lockdown
    England's 2nd Lockdown
    Information regarding Pubs and Clubs from November 5th
  • Pulling Together...
    Pulling Together...
    Supporting the beer and pubs industry during this difficult time...
  • Cheltenham Motor Club Wins National Club of the Year
    Cheltenham Motor Club Wins National Club of the Year
    Cheltenham Motor Club gets the hat trick by being named the best club in Britain for the third time

Welcome to Cheltenham CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. We are a voluntary organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights.The Cheltenham Branch has around 850 members in the GL50, GL51, GL52 and GL53 postcode areas.

Next 5 Diary Events

Full Branch Diary

South West pub campaigners unite to show support as pubs reopen across the region

South West campaigners from CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) and the Campaign for Pubs have joined forces to urge people to support their local pubs when they are able to open their indoor spaces to customers from 17 May.

The Government confirmed on Monday 10 May that, as a part of the road map back to normal life, pubs can allow customers back inside to enjoy food and drink from next week – the ‘rule of six’ or up to two households limitation will apply.

Commenting on the many challenges pubs have faced since the first lock down 14 months ago and since reopening outside areas, CAMRA’s Regional Director for the South West Peter Bridle said: “While there was much reporting of pub gardens being very busy when customers were allowed back into outdoor spaces from 12 April, this did not tell the whole story. Many pubs do not have large outdoor areas and it would have been unviable for them to reopen while this limiting option was in place. And, when the weather turned cold and wet, many customers stayed away from those pubs that did reopen.

“This has added to the many challenges faced by pubs over the last 14 months. There is no doubt that the COVID pandemic has had a terrible effect on many people and businesses alike. The hospitality sector has been particularly badly hit. We hope that the public can enjoy the social and wellbeing benefits of being back inside the local – not just in its beer garden.”

Many publicans have built up substantial debts due to being forced to close and a lack of Government support. While there were loans available and the furlough scheme which were appreciated, these were far from sufficient to mitigate the loss of income coupled with the ongoing overheads for such a very long period.

As the pandemic went through various phases, publicans were faced with draconian restrictions which were unfair and unevidenced. Whilst this took place, many pubs nationally were shutting down permanently and staff were made redundant. The sad fact is that once a pub shuts very rarely can they open again.”

Alastair Kerr from the Campaign for Pubs said: “The hospitality sector and in particular, pubs, have had their worst trading year on record and with the continued trading restrictions forced upon pubs, they will and are struggling to survive. Pubs are a corner stone of our society, a bed rock of our communities and a staple of our culture and we should all pull together to ensure that pubs survive and thrive during and after this pandemic. Pubs have faced the brunt of the restrictions that have been enforced by this Government, often with no evidence to back them up, and now more than ever they need all the support they can get. The Campaign for Pubs continues to promote, support and fight for pubs, publicans and their customers all over the UK.”

Cheltenham publican Paul Cook, owner of The Angry Parrot Micropub, which opened for the first time just days before the first national lockdown, said: “In our opinion the hospitality sector has been unfairly targeted by Government. The evidence used to justify keeping us closed is lacking and we are unable to see the difference between having a coffee inside or having a drink inside a pub.  Cheltenham has a vibrant and eclectic mix of pubs.  We need to be able to open without restrictions as we like many, are so small. Public safety is paramount however with the success of the rollout of vaccine program – the UK needs life returning back to normal in order for both personal and professional relationships to thrive.”

Peter Bridle concluded: “Pubs are vital for community cohesion in many areas. We have seen thousands close in recent years and many of these, although viable as pub businesses, have been converted to other use depriving locals of a place to meet and socialise. We hope that communities will take advantage of now being able to enjoy safely a pubs offering be it indoors or in a pub garden. It is a cliché, but it is the reality with pubs like never before – use it or lose it.

“What this pandemic has proved is how much the hospitality industry gives back to the government financially and how pubs play such an important part in our way of life. From quiet pubs, pubs with music, pubs where you can play a sport or watch sport, pubs where you can dine and much more.

“Now pubs can open up more, we need to focus on how to save our locals. The public can play its part in saving this great British institution by using them. Pubs are the hub of the community.”

 

GOVERNMENT ADVICE

 

Step 3 – from 17 May

Following the move to Step 3, you will be able to reopen indoor areas of your venues.

You will be able to serve customers in groups of up to 6 or 2 households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors.

If your venue serves alcohol, table service will be required. Even if no alcohol is ordered, this means customers must order, be served and eat/drink while seated.

If your venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter. But they must consume food and drink while seated at a table.

Indoor entertainment is allowed, including soft play areas.

This guidance will be kept up to date as we move through the steps of the roadmap.

These are the FAQs from UKH/BBPA/BII – https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/FAQs

REOPENING FROM APRIL 12TH (Outside only)

Following today’s announcement that the roadmap to lifting of covid restrictions is still on track the following are the pubs and clubs that we know will be reopening for outdoor service

  • The Apple Tree, Woodmancote
  • The Beehive, Prestbury (no reservations – first come, first served)
  • The Bell, Shurdington
  • Bottle of Sauce
  • Brown Jug
  • The Exmouth Arms
  • Gloucester Old Spot (outside eating & drinking. Booking recommended)
  • Harry Cook’s Free House
  • The Hewlett (opening 14th May)
  • The House In The Tree (outside drinking. Reservations required for food tables)
  • Jolly Brewmaster – Reopening 29th April – Thursdays to Sundays only
  • Kings Head, Bishops Cleeve
  • Moon Under Water (outside drinking)
  • Norwood
  • The Plough. Prestbury (opening 14th April. Outside eating and drinking. Tables can be booked for food)
  • The Railway (booking reccomended)
  • Sandford Park Alehouse (outside drinking)
  • Cheltenham Motor Club (outside drinking & takeaway. No booking 1st come 1st served)
  • Goffs Brewery (Fridays & Saturdays)
  • Royal Oak, Prestbury – Reopening 28th April for Outside eating & drinking.  Advanced booking of tables recommended.

Please check directly with establishments for full details. Covid safety restrictions including table service and rule of six still apply.

If there are any establishments we have missed please let us know.

Roadmap out of Lockdown

As you are probably all aware the UK Government have announced the roadmap from Coronavirus lockdown for England, which will allow the reopening of hospitality venues including pubs and clubs.

The key dates are:-

  • April 12th.  Venues can open and serve alcohol in outside areas and can also sell alcohol for takeaway.
  • May 17th. Venues can open inside areas  for service of alcohol.
  • June 21st. All restrictions lifted.

Restrictions such as table service, sizes of groups / household mixing / rule of six will apply but 10pm curfews and substantial meal restrictions are gone.

We will be listing details of  venue reopenings on our covid / lockdown page.

Note that these dates are “not earlier than” dates and so may slip depending on thr covid data at the time.

Full details of the regulations can be found on the government website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary

 

The Vine – Can you help?

Edward Anderson, who has the lease on The Railway, Swan and Vine in town, is considering changing the layout of The Vine at some point this year.  He is considering returning it more to the original layout but he has no idea of how the original interior would have looked.

Can anybody out there help him ?  Do you have any idea of the how the pub was laid out originally?

Geoff Sandles wonderful book “Cheltenham Pubs Through Time” tells us that the The Vine was originally called “The Coopers Arms” and was rebuilt after a fire in 1909 but we have no pictures of the interior.

If there is anyone who can remember how the pub used to look or even has photographs of the old interior Ed would love to meet them. Contact us and we can put you in touch.

 

The Kemble Brewery Inn is a Cheltenham ‘Lockdown Hero’

As we struggle with the negative effects of the latest UK lockdown, one thing is becoming more and more apparent: there has never been a more important time to emphasise that pubs, clubs, brewers and cider makers are a force for good in the community. Some individuals in the hospitality sector are going further and making an amazing effort to combat the social effects of the epidemic. They are going the extra mile to help people in need, despite suffering tremendous financial losses themselves during Covid-19.

One such hero is Caron Sayner, licensee of The Kemble Brewery Inn in Fairview, Cheltenham. Caron has received a CAMRA ‘Lockdown Hero’ award, from Cheltenham CAMRA, for exceptional service to the community. Despite only being open from October 6th to November 4th, since the March 2020 lockdown, Caron has continued to cook and deliver hot meals every Saturday. Although the pub is closed, and cannot supply takeaway beer directly from the pub, Caron also takes orders and delivers beer to her locals, at cost price.

Despite the financial losses from the long shutdown and having to continue to pay a reduced rent to her pub company, Caron uses the income from food sales to help those in need. Since the second lockdown onwards Caron has provided free ‘school meals’ to families in need and also to local people who are isolated – even delivering shopping for people when she is ‘tipped off’ by her pub regulars and neighbours.

On Christmas Day, Caron cooked and delivered 72 Christmas meals to people who were in need, or who were spending Christmas on their own. In addition, due to the generosity of the Kemble’s regulars, the Christmas meals were supplemented by donations of chocolates, mince pies, etc in Christmas Day gift bags delivered with the lunches.

“The Kemble Brewery Inn is a proper community backstreet local”, said Rob Coldwell, Cheltenham CAMRA Branch Chair. “Caron has worked wonders since she took over the Kemble to the extent that the pub has been our ‘Pub of the Year’ for the last two years and has done so in competition against some of the best pubs in the South West.”

“Despite greatly reduced income during lockdown, Caron has gone beyond all expectations to help keep people going in these hard times,” said Rob. “The Kemble is a great example of the traditional local pub – great beer, great food and a licensee who is the caring centre of the community. Cheltenham CAMRA is honoured to be able to recognise an inspirational licensee and present Caron with our first ‘Lockdown Hero’ Award.”

Meals can be ordered for collection or delivery every Saturday. See www.facebook.com/thekemble for details.

Battledown Brewery FA Cup Offer

Battledown Brewery have been proactive in advance of Manchester City’s arrival in Cheltenham on Saturday 23rd January for an F.A. Cup match against The Robins by offering free, local delivery and a discount of 15% for orders until 23:59 that day.

https://www.battledownbrewery.com/shop

The discount code is FACUP; don’t forget to click the promotion button before payment.

The beer range has been extended particularly since the 10-barrel plant was installed and the arrival of a Belgian brewer.

Covid Update – January 2020

As of Wednesday 6th January England has been placed under national covid lockdown restrictions.  These restrictions have a significant impact on the hospitality industry as they no longer permit pubs and clubs of offer takeaway alcohol for collection.  Alcohol can only be sold for delivery.  This will help supermarkets and off-licenses, while yet again disadvantaging pubs and clubs.  Please support the pubs, clubs and licensees that are at the heart of our communities and email your MP at https://camra.e-activist.com/page/73809/action/1 asking them to revise the guidance.

Several local pubs will continue to offer food only takeaway and we are still listing details of the details we know of these venues on our website under the lockdown tab.

1st Cheltenham Virtual Winter Beer Festival

Following the success of the first Cheltenham Virtual Beer Festival back in June 2020, the Friends of Cheltenham & District Samaritans have decided to follow it up with a ‘Virtual Winter Beer Festival’ to be held on Saturday 20th February

For the bargain price of £20, beer drinkers in Cheltenham and Tewkesbury can get a box of seasonal beers delivered straight to their door by one of our team (following strict social distancing of course). Within the box will be a selection of 5 outstanding Craft Beers from local breweries (Bristol Beer Factory, Good Chemistry, DEYA Brewing Co., Goffs Brewery and Stroud Brewery). Additionally, we have teamed up with the fabulous ‘Woozy Pig’ to offer options for a small range of ‘heat up at home’ food options to perfectly complement the beer.

As with the summer festival, as well as the home-delivered beer and food options we have some fantastic online features that you can watch on our YouTube channel on the day. For each of the beers in your box, there will be a scheduled video’ tutored beer tasting’ by local celebrities and/or beer experts, we also hope to have bespoke video clips from each of the breweries and just like the summer festival, these will be interspersed with online video sets from various local musicians/bands, comedy sketches and quiz’s.

Tickets for this event are limited to just under 200 and will be allocated on a First Come, First Served basis, so don’t delay getting your order in. Unfortunately, we will only be able to deliver beer boxes and Woozy Pig food packs to Cheltenham Postcodes (GL50, GL51, GL52 and GL53 as far as Severn Springs) and to Tewkesbury (including Mitton, Priors Park, Northway and Ashchurch). Note: You will need to be at home to take delivery of the packs – especially any food orders which will need to be chilled.

All proceeds raised from this event are going to the ‘Cheltenham and District Samaritans’ and thanks to the support and generosity of the brewers and Woozy Pig, we are hoping to get close to matching the amazing £5000 raised in the summer.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite at:  Virtual Winter Beer Festival Tickets

Even if you cannot join in with the festival directly (i.e. if you are not in Cheltenham and we cannot get the beers to you, or even if you don’t drink beer!), you can still watch the proceedings on our YouTube channel from 6.00pm on the day and if you would like to support us you can donate to our ‘Just Giving’ page (see link below).

First Virtual Cheltenham Craft Beer Festival – YouTube Channel

To donate via our ‘Just Giving’ page please go to:

Friends of The Samaritans Just Giving Page