Shaun also introduced a Foreign Beer bar, a wine bar, a mead bar and produced the formula that we work to today, although as with all events, this is growing and changing all the time.
What most people won`t have seen was Shaun`s dedication and commitment to getting the job done. I worked closely with Shaun for the past 7 years as Deputy Organiser, and even I am only aware of most, not all, of the time he put in. The festival takes over 18 months of planning and preparation (yes we have discussed 2008 and 2009!). It also cost him three weeks holiday a year.
In both his job and in his private life Shaun was always looking to recruit people for the festival and publicise it. He often went above and beyond the call of duty in this. Shaun also overcame some major obstacles in running the festival, starting with a move of site forced on us the first year he took on the role! Since then, problems have been numerous and varied, but Shaun took them all in his stride. Some people didn`t like his style, but it worked.
I hope you`ll all join me in raising a glass to Shaun as Cambridge Branch and CAMRA everywhere say "Thank You".
Shaun, take a bow, you deserve it. You hopefully won`t be a stranger, but you will be missed.
Of course, Shaun would be the first to point out that he couldn`t do it alone. Behind him there is a dedicated band of volunteers who make up most of the managers and senior staff, and of course, everyone who comes and gives some time at the festival. Without you, the festival wouldn`t happen either.
Unfortunately, we also lost our Press and Publicity manager, who was the other Deputy Organiser this year as well. Nothing to do with Shaun`s going, Steve Jackson had too much on his plate with family and a new job to contend with. Steve was also an unsung hero in many ways, beavering away in the background. The Festival would not have got anywhere near the Publicity it did without his tireless efforts, and also his numerous other inspired contributions to the festival. Again, raise a glass to Steve as he will also be missed, and our thanks go to him. He, hopefully, will also not be a stranger! (Steve, we WILL get out for that drink sometime!).
So to the future? Myself and David Hughes (Head Cellar Manager) have taken on the role of co-organisers, as it's taken two people to fill Shaun`s shoes. The Festival planning for 2007 is now at an advanced stage - look out for posters soon. Same time, same place in 2007.
It was a pleasure working with Shaun and Steve, and hopefully remains a pleasure working with the rest of you. See you at the Festival in 2007.
Co-organiser, 2007 CAMRA Cambridge Summer Beer Festival