The ever popular Ale and Steam Weekend run by North Cotswold CAMRA held on 16th and 17th August was a great success and once again blessed with fine weather. Normally held at Winchcombe Station with 24 beers it was extended to include Toddington Station for the first time where 12 beers were also served from the No 2 Waiting Room on the North Platform. 8 ciders were also available split between the two locations.

This encouraged train travel between stations for customers to experience the full beer range and also avoided any delays in serving the beers. The train journey time between stations was just right to consume a pint and be ready for the next one.

The second bar proved very popular and was ideal for its new purpose with several picnic tables fully utilised in the warm summer weather.

N Cots staff supplemented mainly from Cheltenham Branch were split between the two locations and easily coped with the new set up.

Most of the beer was sold with Saturday the busier of the two days and the full range was available through to early Sunday.

Winner of the Festival, the first to run out, was Hung Drawn and Portered from North Cotswold Brewery closely followed by Cavemans Citra.

Congratulations to Festival Coordinator John Stocks and Good Beer Co supplier Rob Brady who again provided a great range of beers including 6 locals with the furthest from Stewart,s Pentland brewed in Scotland 274 miles away.

The Railway were delighted with the extra custom and rail travel. Andrew Smith from GWR felt it had been a huge success and hopes that we repeat this format for the Spring 2015 event.

Membership Secretary Garry Hayward recruited 6 new members for CAMRA including North Cotswold Branches 200th member welcomed by Roger Price Branch Chairman, and a lifelong Member for Cheltenham Branch who was welcomed by Cheltenham Branch Chairman Veronica Emary.

We were also delighted to welcome new North Oxford Chairman and Vice Chairman with 11 members on Saturday who were attending for the first time and promised to return with more members next year.

Camping was arranged within walking distance at Grete with seventeen tents partying on Sat night. The helpers were provided with takeaways since Enterprise Inns Harvest Home had unexpectedly closed again cutting off their food and beer supply.

Both Festival bars were emptied in record time and reconverted to waiting rooms by 7pm on Sunday night and all empties and racking removed offsite. Since ‘Set Up’ was one day later than normal on Thursday morning, racked and vented by 2pm, and tapped on Thursday night we set new performance records. We are most grateful to the whole team who put in such a great effort across the two sites.

We have ring fenced funding from 2013 added to 2014 for helpers trip once we have decided venue following Moreton in Marsh Beer Festival in September.

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