The Nottingham Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is the Nottingham area’s local branch of the national organisation.
Branch History & Timeline
The Nottingham Branch of CAMRA was founded in 1973.
The first meeting of Nottingham CAMRA took place at the Barley Mow, Basford on Monday 13 August 1973.
Under CAMRA rules of the time, a branch was only allowed to elect seven committee members. Individualistic from the outset, Nottingham elected eight.
These original eight branch committee members were:
- Harry Willis – Chairman
- Mick Joyce – Secretary
- Les Limb – Treasurer
- Stewart Argyle
- Dave Bignall
- Ian Downing
- Tony McConeielle
- Norman Stapleton
Long before the role of CAMRA Regional Director came into being, Stewart Argyle was recommended for the role of Area Organiser. This position he held for some time, being followed by Spyke Golding.
Branch Area – “Greater Nottingham”
The Nottingham Branch of CAMRA operates in a Branch Area which covers the City and a large part of its hinterland.
This Branch Area is not coterminous with any single local authority jurisdiction. The Branch Area consists of:
- all of the City of Nottingham
- most of the Borough of Broxtowe
- most of the Borough of Gedling
- a large part of the Borough of Rushcliffe
- part of the District of Ashfield
- part of the District of Newark & Sherwood
The City of Nottingham is a Unitary Authority. The five district authorities are First Tier Authorities and operate with Nottinghamshire County Council, which is their associated Second Tier Authority.
The Branch Area includes: (i) All four Hucknall Wards
of the District of Ashfield (Hucknall North, Hucknall Central, Hucknall
South and Hucknall West Wards) and (ii) the Dover Beck and Lowdham Wards of the District of Newark & Sherwood and part of its Trent Ward.
The Branch Area excludes (a) the Newstead Abbey Ward of the Borough of Gedling, (b) the Brinsley Ward of the Borough of Broxtowe and (c) the Bingham East, Bingham West, Cranmer, Cropwell, Nevile & Langar and Thoroton Wards of the Borough of Rushcliffe and part of its East Bridgford Ward.
Branch Area Map
Neighbouring Branches of CAMRA are the North Nottinghamshire Branch, the Newark Branch, the Vale of Belvoir Branch, the Loughborough and North Leicestershire Branch, the Erewash Valley Branch and the Mansfield & Ashfield Branch.
Regional Area – “East Midlands”
The Nottingham Branch is in CAMRA’s East Midlands Region, which consists of 25 local Branches. Click on the branch name to visit their web site:
Ashbourne & District
Dronfield & District
Grimsby & North East Lincs
Hinckley & Bosworth
Loughborough & North Leics
Mansfield & Ashfield
Matlock & Dales
Melton Mowbray & District
Scunthorpe & District
Vale of Belvoir
Number of Branch Members
The Nottingham Branch currently has in excess of 6,000 members, making it the single largest branch in CAMRA.
The Nottingham Branch of CAMRA acts as the voice of the local area’s pub-going, beer and cider drinking public. It liaises on their behalf with both local and national politicians, local and national government and other interested parties.
These activities contribute to the Branch Area by engaging with the local community and by supporting and promoting the social wellbeing and social interests of those within that community.
The Branch activities of the Nottingham Branch of CAMRA are wholly or partially applied to the Branch Area and include:
Beer & Cider Festivals
The Branch hosts one of the UK’s premier beer and cider festivals every October and has done so for the last 40+ years. Formerly in the Victoria Leisure Centre and more recently in the grounds of Nottingham Castle, where it was rebranded as the “Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival”. For 2018 and 2019 the festival relocated to the Motorpoint Arena as a result of major redevelopment work at Nottingham Castle. The 2020 event, which was also to have been held at the arena had to be cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic and a new venue is currently being sought for the 2021 event.
Some 400 volunteers support this event, which provides hundreds of different beers and ciders to sample. The event is open to local people, non-CAMRA members and is popular with international visitors. The event currently has an annual footfall of some 18,000 people.
The festival holds the world record for the largest number of different draught real ales sold at any festival, with 1,230 being available in 2017. In addition it offers around 250 different real ciders and perries, again amongst largest range of such drinks on offer at any festival in the world.
The Branch also supports and assists with other local events such as the Hucknall Beer Festival.
Beer and Cider Trails
The Branch hosts a number of beer and cider trails during the course of
the year which are intended to promote a particular style of drink and
encourage pub-goers to visit a range of different venues during the
Stout & Porter Stroll
The Branch publishes its Branch magazine, the Nottingham Drinker, six times per year in print runs of 11,000 copies. (ie 66,000 books of some 40 to 50 pages each per annum). The Nottingham Drinker, initially called The Notts & District Drinker, has been produced since 1983 and is distributed free of charge to pub goers via a network of pubs across the Branch Area. The Nottingham Drinker informs the local pub-going public of the branch’s activities, campaigns and news associated with local beers, ciders, brewers and pubs.
Prior to the Nottingham Drinker, the Branch co-produced the Nottingham & Derby Drinker with Derby Branch from 1976 to 1982.
Branch members who have provided an e-mail address receive a monthly Branch Newsletter which updates members on local pub, brewery and other related news.
The Branch operates a “LocAle” accreditation scheme that recognises pubs that always sell at least one real ale, or traditional cider, kept in good condition, that is brewed within 20 miles of the pub (30-=35 miles for cider producers) . There are currently over 170 accredited pubs, which actively promote locally produced beers and ciders from local brewers and cider producers. Click here for more details
The LocAle concept was conceived and developed by the Nottingham Branch to help local breweries get beer to outlets which might otherwise be supplied by larger breweries with access to greater marketing resources. It is also recognised as an environmentally friendly way to enjoy beers and ciders as it promotes those that have travelled the shortest distance from production to point of sale. The LocAle idea is now promoted by CAMRA nationally.
Brewery Liaison Officers
The Branch has volunteer Brewery Liaison Officers (BLOs) to help maintain an informed relationship with local brewers:
Local Award Schemes
The Branch runs a series of local award schemes to recognise and
encourage the highest standards in the Branch Area’s, including the Pub
of the Year Award, the Award of Excellence and the LocAle Pub of the
The Branch has also developed its own certificates to recognise local public houses with Asset of Community Value (ACV) status.
Good Beer Guide
The Branch assesses and reviews the entries for local pubs in the annual, nationally produced, publication The Good Beer Guide, which is available to the public both as a book and also in recent years as an app for mobile phones.
Socially Responsible Engagement
Branch members attend Nottingham Pub Watch and a number have been trained as Designated Premises Supervisors.
The Branch hosts 11 Branch Meetings per year in a number of different pubs in the Branch Area. Anyone is welcome to attend Branch Meetings, it is not necessary to be a CAMRA member. Branch meetings are held on the last Thursday of each calendar month, except December and start at 8pm.
Branch Committee Meetings
The Branch hosts 12 Branch Committee Meetings per year in a number of different pubs in the Branch Area. The Branch Committee coordinates and steers Branch activities.
“WhatPub” Pubfinder Website
The Branch manages the local pages of the CAMRA pub finder website ”WhatPub”, which is available to the public. The Branch also maintains the underlying database for entries for pubs in the Branch Area.
The Branch maintains this website to inform both members and the public about the Branch and its activities.
The Branch runs local campaigns and activities to protect local pubs in the area, such as ACV nominations. This is to ensure that our and future generations continue to enjoy the rich heritage of public houses within the Branch Area.
The Nottingham Branch of CAMRA has its own constitution and in
accordance with this document, the Nottingham Branch is the vehicle via
which CAMRA pursues its objectives within the Branch Area.
The Nottingham Branch does not distribute a surplus to members and its funds are spent wholly or partially on activities within the Branch Area.
CAMRA’s National Organisation
The Campaign for Real Ale is a Company Limited by Guarantee without Share Capital with the registered number 1270286.
The Company was registered on the 23rd July 1976 and the Company’s registered office is 230 Hatfield Rd, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 4LW.
As a Company Limited by Guarantee without Share Capital, statutory information is held by Companies House and as such is in the public domain. The information, including the Articles of Association and Annual Accounts is available at: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01270286
Sets of accounts are made up to the 30th December with those accounts due to be filed by the 30th September following.
Confirmation Statements are dated 21st April and are due to be filed by the 5th May.
The Nature of Business (its SIC) is described as “96090 – Other service activities not elsewhere classified”.
CAMRA does not distribute a surplus to its members.
CAMRA’s National Website is found at: www.camra.org.uk
CAMRA’s National Operational Structure
The Campaign for Real Ale’s national operational structure is somewhat
akin to a Portuguese Man O’War in that it consists of a number of
symbiotic supporting groups and structures which allow the organisation
to operate effectively at National, Regional, Local and Membership
National Executive: CAMRA is governed by a National Executive, which is elected by Members at the National Annual General Meeting (AGM). The responsibilities of individual members of the National Executive are detailed on CAMRA’s national website.
St. Albans HQ: CAMRA’s day to day activities and statutory obligations are managed by a professional staff of paid employees based in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.
National Committees: CAMRA has a number of National Committees which guide and steer CAMRA policy on given areas of interest.
Regions: CAMRA is sub-divided into some 16 geographical regions across the UK, of which the East Midlands Region is one and each led by a Regional Director.
Branches: CAMRA Branches are geographically based operating divisions of the membership of CAMRA. There are almost 200 local Branches, of which the Nottingham Branch is one. The Branch is the smallest organisational group within CAMRA and is responsible for coordinating all CAMRA activies in a given geographical area. CAMRA is the sum of its Branches. Each Branch is governed by a locally elected Branch Committee.
Branch Members: The individual Branch Member is the fudamental building block of the CAMRA organisation. Without Branch Members’ willingness to participate in particular campaigns and activities, CAMRA would have little influence or campaigning momentum. Local volunteers are the grass roots of the organisation. Branch membership is allocated on the basis of postal address on the CAMRA membership system, subject to individual preference. The Nottingham Branch has a Young Members group.
CAMRA’s Trade Marks
The Campaign for Real Ale has a number of trade marks protecting certain words and images.
These are in the public domain and may be found at the Government’s Intellectual Property Office website (ie the former Patent Office). There are a number of CAMRA registrations as trade mark owners.
Drilling down into each “Client ID” gives the relevant CAMRA trade marks, including:
CAMRA Iconic 1973 Tankard Logo (Trade Mark UK00001018660)
CAMRA LocAle (Trade Mark UK00002577552)
CAMRA Local Pubs Week (Trade Mark UK00002577553)
CAMRA Beer (Trade Mark UK00002577555)
CAMRA Whatpub (Trade Mark UK00003167233)
CAMRA Good Beer Guide (Trade Mark UK00001474408)
These pages also show CAMRA’s “Dead” Trade Marks which are no longer in use but may be familiar and of historic interest, including:
CAMRA Iconic 1985 Oval & Tankard (Trade Mark UK00001238962)
The Nottingham Branch of CAMRA does not have a local office or
headquarters, the management of the Branch and its activities are either (i) carried out in the homes of individual Committee Members or (ii) in local public houses.
Similarly, the Nottingham Branch employs no administrative staff and relies upon CAMRA’s Head Office in St. Albans for professional support when required.
Contact or e-mail email@example.com