July 1980 Steve Beasley rounds up other CAMRA members (including Pete Dunningham & Stewart Matthews who are both still active in the branch - May 2012)..."Is there interest in setting up a sub branch of the Swindon and North West Wilts Branch". At a meeting on the 14th of July 1980 in the Rose and Crown, Chippenham it was agreed a sub branch should be set up. Jim Rose was voted as Chair with Barbara Matthews as secretary and Alan Rutherford as coordinator. They agreed to have a meeting once a month and held the first annual dinner at the White Hart in Ford on the 22nd December 1980.
Just 14 months later on the 16th September 1981 the North West Wiltshire branch of CAMRA was born and we became a branch in our own right. Pete Dunningham & Stewart Matthews are still active in the branch and Stewarts mum, Barbara, still takes a keen interest in branch activities. Lawrence Bristow was around in those early days and is still an active branch member.
11 years later,1992, we held our first beer festival in the Neeld Hall Chippenham. Organised by Paul Hawkins and helped by branch stalwarts Ed Spearey, Pete Dunningham, Mike Hamyln & Cliff Mason all of who are still active members.
We have been going from strength to strength ever since and our current membership (May 2012) stands at some 512 persons. We are an eclectic mix who enjoy real ale or cider, support real ale pubs, have varied social events and a have strong group of ‘active’ members who regularly turn up at branch meetings. We encouraging more pubs to take part in CAMRA’s LocAle scheme and have just completed (jan 12) an Ale Trail by public transport, see the Ale Trail link on the main menu.
Why not consider joining us? See the How to Join link for more information.