Going, going, gone ....It is a worrying fact that at least 26 pubs are closing in Britain every month. Early indications from new CAMRA research suggest that this figure could actually be even higher.
Worse still, the great majority of these pubs are not high street chain outlets or theme bars, but community pubs, recognised by most people these days as important local amenities. The local pub is often the heart of the community.
A hub for local peopleCAMRA defines a community pub as a pub that appeals to a wide cross-section of the local community, rather than being predominantly targeted at particular social or age groups.
Chief Executive Mike Benner explained why CAMRA believes community pubs deserve our support:
"All TV and radio soaps have community pubs - the Bull, the
Rovers Return, the Queen Vic, the Woolpack. Sadly, many real communities in rural
and urban areas are in serious danger of losing, or indeed have already lost their
"Community pubs, particularly in more remote rural areas, are often a hub in the lives of local people. None of us wants to be in a situation where the only way we speak to our neighbours is through a car window or at a supermarket many miles away. However an increasing number of these pubs are being permanently lost.
"The smoking ban coming into force across the UK means that pubs face a difficult time in 2007. People need to realise that their local is a valuable asset worth protecting.
"We know people care about their communities - four million people recently signed a petition calling for the Government to do more to save rural post offices. Unless we do something to curb the trend, CAMRA fears that many communities will lose their local pub for good."
Nothing can match the British pubCAMRA has run National Pubs Week for four years to persuade more people to visit pubs more often. CAMRA members across the country have worked hard to promote pub-going in a period of growth in home drinking. Despite low supermarket prices, nothing can match the British pub for its service and atmosphere.
CAMRA is now changing the focus of its week of action to help raise the profile and importance of pubs in the community. The new Community Pubs Week will celebrate and promote all community pubs - urban and rural locals alike.
Get promotional material for your pubPromotional beer mats, posters and advice sheets are available for pubs that wish to take part in the campaign. To order promotional material, call 01727 867201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information about the campaign is available at www.camra.org.uk/communitypubsweek.
Cambridge CAMRA will be organising a campaigning tour of selected community pubs within our area during the Week. If you think your local, or a pub you know, should get a visit then please let the Editor know.