Branch News

All the latest News from Salford CAMRA

If you have any news of what is happening within the branch boundary then please let us know at moc.liamg@armacdroflasretsambeW or any other committee member's listed under branch contacts

Seven Bro7hers Brew Back Festival 2017:Click here to open PDF file.Seven Bro7hers Brew Back Fest 2017.

17/08/17 The Stocks Hotel,Walkden has re-opened, 4 Hand pumps were in use dispensing Joseph Holt Bitter,Mild,Two Hoots and Sharp's Doombar.


The Crescent pub has a sign outside saying closed until further notice

2017 Cider Pub of the Year award

Our Photograph shows Tim Flynn and Paulette Scanlon receiving the award from Branch Chair Gordon Allen(centre)


2017 Club of the Year award

Our Photograph shows Marie Wilson of Eccles RFC receiving the award from Branch Clubs Office Ian Massey(left) and Branch Vice Chair Martin Parkinson(right)


2017 Pub of the Year award

Our Photograph shows Donna Robinson of The Malt Dog in Monton receiving the award from Branch Chair Gordon Allen


25 years in the Good Beer Guide Award

On November 23, Salford Members attended the Presentation of a special Award to the Lamb Hotel in Eccles to commemorate the pub being in the GBG for 25 consecutive years. Our Photo shows Salford Branch Chair Martin Parkinson presenting the award to Andrea.

The Crescent. Salford has been issued an ACV(Asset of Community Value) More details to follow.

Treasure Hunt Winners 2016


The 2016 winning Team is "Lost Sheep". They are seen here receiving the winner's Trophy from Malcolm Cornelius of last year's winning team "No Cows only Beef"

2016 Pub of the Year

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Wednesday 4th May saw the presentation of another branch award, this one being the Pub of the year award to the Grocers Pub in Cadishead. Grocers Cadishead. Our pictures show Owner Martin Shallcross receiving the award from Salford Branch Chair Martin Parkinson,the Grocers Gravity dispense system and Martin proudly displaying his Award. Salford's first true micropub opened on 14th March 2015 in a former shop, bringing real ale back to Cadishead. The beer, from local micros, is stillaged in a separate, air-chilled room, served by gravity dispense and brought to the customer by the owner; these last two factors are unique in the area. Seating at tables accommodates twenty, a corridor allows extra standing room. There is also a small yard at the rear with tables and bench seating. A micropub is defined by some as a small freehouse which listens to its customers, serves only cask ales, wine and soft drinks, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and offers only snacks such as Crisps.

2016 Club of the Year

.. On Wednesday 27th April Eccles RFC were awarded the 2016 Branch Club of the Year(CoTY). The photo shows Ian Massey (Camra Branch Club Rep)presenting the award to Marie Wilson(Eccles RFC Stewardess). Eccles RFC fought off ever increasing competition to secure the award for the third year running. Mainly due to not only the high quality, but also the wide range of Beers offered. In addition Eccles RFC also hold two Beer festivals through the year,one towards the end of Winter within the Rugby season, and one during July which is out of season. Full details are available on the Club website. Eccles RFC.

Neil Richardson Award

Each year we award a 'proper' pub the Neil Richardson award. This is awarded to a traditional pub that, of course, sells real ale. This year the award was won by the QUEENS ARMS in Patricroft. To the left are Chris and Lynn Benson the publicans at the Queens receiving their award.

Most Improved Pub of the Year

The Branch MOST IMPROVED PUB OF THE YEAR 2015 title was awarded to the SMITHFIELD MARKET TAVERN, Swan Street, Manchester. The Smithfield is now the Blackjack Tap and showcases their, and other, quality beers. In the photo are (lr) Josh Chappell (Manager), Joe Bird (Co-owner of Blackjack beers and the pub), Steve Davis (Branch Chairman), Darcey James (managing director / co-owner of pub and brewery employee)

The Queens Arms in Patricroft has been made ACV. Read about it here: Is a one legged seat worth preserving?

Pub of the Year

The Branch PUB OF THE YEAR 2015 title was awarded to the Crown & Kettle, Oldham Road, Manchester. There was a good turn out by CAMRA members to celebrate and present the award. The Crown and Kettle had nine excellent real ales on sale and a wide selection of real ciders. Landlord Jason Stephenson is pictured here on the left with the certificate and a motley crew of North Manchester CAMRA members.

The Crown and Kettle was then entered and won the regional Pub of the Year award. To the right is Jason holding that award.

Club of the Year

The Branch CLUB OF THE YEAR 2015 title was awarded to the Eccles Rugby (Union) Football Club, Gorton Street, Eccles. Here Martin Parkinson and bar manager Marie receive the certificate from Branch Chairman Steve Davis.

Cider Pub of the Year

The Branch CIDER PUB OF THE YEAR 2015 title was awarded to the BAR FRINGE, Swan Street. Here manager Carmen Contreras receives the certificate from Branch Secretary Phil Booton.

Independents' Day Treasure Hunt 2014

An annual tradition in Manchester for over two decades has been the Independents' Day real ale treasure hunt. The idea is to get people visiting several Independent Real Ale pubs looking for quite challenging clues in the pub decor and paraphernalia, while hopefully enjoying an ale or two along the way.

This was my second year of participation, with a North Manchester Branch team called The Rat & Handbag Darts & Doms. Under this name the team first won the contest many years ago, and winners are added to a shield they get to own for the year before the next contest.

The other prizes are the stake money - one pound per contestant in teams of up to five, and the obligation to set the quiz for the following year.

In 2013 we finished fifth. Our first task this year was to find out which pubs were involved. We had a full team of five and met at the starting point - the Briton's Protection, where we were given a series of clues written in braille, phonetics, binary, predictive text, sign language, and more besides.

I cracked the phonetic one quickly as I have been taught this alphabet in my call centre work.

We now had the list of the eight pubs we had to visit on the hunt, which we could go to in any order we chose. Our team's route was thus;

Albert Square Chop House, Ape And Apple, Grey Horse, 57 Thomas Street, Bar Fringe, Jolly Angler, FONT Bar and Deansgate

Three questions had to be answered in each pub. For example, in The Albert Square one question was 'which movie hero could we travel with'? The answer was on the door of a lift leading to the upper hotel rooms. The lift was made by a firm called Schindler - we thought the idea of Schindler's Lift was great.

A few questions were ambiguous. Again in the Albert Square we were asked for the connection with Amsterdam. We noticed the menus had items involving Hollandaise Sauce. The answer which was accepted by the judges however was simply 'red lights'.

As well as the main quiz, we had a game of Cluedo (clue to Americans) to crack. There had been a murder, with a suspect from one pub using an artifact from another, and the killing itself taking part in a third bar on our list.

We had to find clues in each to eliminate it from our lists - one of the three would have no clue in one category and thus be the one concerned. We found the right answer -Jimmy The Dandy did it with The Candlestick in The Jolly Angler.

A couple of answers struck us without even having to go to the bars. I am a regular customer in Bar Fringe and solved most of that pub's clues before we got there. One of our team recognized the portrait labelled Jimmy The Dandy as being in Rain Bar, which wasn't a pub we were visiting, so we knew our murderer from the outset.

On marking the answers, we were found to have 52 points, putting us in joint first place with three other teams so a tense four way tie-break question followed. The Grey Horse Inn had raised money for charity and we had to say how much, with the nearest approximation winning. Our guestimate of £273 was closest so we got the shield, the prize money and the duty to to organise the treasure hunt for 2015.

Immense fun. Thanks to the organisers, my team colleagues, and the staff and customers of all the pubs involved, including host pub the Briton's Protection. Arthur Chapell

Treasure Hunt 2013

The annual Branch 'Independents' Day' pub treasure hunt took place on Saturday 6th July. The aim is to enjoy a day drinking beers from independent brewers while visiting a selection of pubs and answering questions from clues relating to those pubs. This year's event was organised by 2012 winners 'The K Team' starting and finishing at the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street in Manchester's Northern Quarter. The K Team arranged a particularly arduous and well spread-out 10 pub course which over 20 teams attempted. The sun was blazing and contestants were roasting whilst strolling or staggering between pubs. Fortunately a drink in each pub helps restore the vitality sapped by the heat. This was a great turn out and most if not all made it back to the Castle.

The outright winning team this year were 'Three Fifths' who now have the honour(?) of setting next years challenge, so watch this space.

Thanks to all the pubs on the hunt for allowing various treasure hunters to mooch around their establishments hunting for answers whilst enjoying a great variety of Independent brewery real ales.

Special thanks to the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street for hosting this year's event and supplying great beer and great food to our tired and emotional contestants.

The Branch CIDER PUB OF THE YEAR 2013 title was awarded to the BAR FRINGE, Swan Street. Here manager Carmen Contreras receives the certificate from Branch Secretary Phil Booton. The assembled Camra members and other customers were treated to a tutored sampling of ciders from Somerset and Herefordshire. These ranged from the superbly dry to the exquisitely sweet, and were topped off with a kiss from that too rare a beauty we know as perry. [Thinks: I'm off for a week in Somerset shortly. Better practice the osculatory art].

We recently held a 'Farewell to the Racecourse' social at the Oakwell Brewery pub of that name in Littleton Road. About twenty Branch Members and friends enjoyed the Barnsley Bitter and Mild, the latter making a welcome return for the Mild in May month.

The best news to come out on the night was that a buyer may have been found for the pub. Although as yet unconfirmed, there is hope that it may reopen after refurbishment, with plans to get the well-equipped kitchen back into use, and later perhaps to bring the letting rooms back into use.

Unable to wait for the beer to be drawn to the bar, they were down into cellar as soon as the manager's back was turned.

Eighteen hand pumps, and where's the Branch? Yep, still in the cellar. The separate vault bar, and three more beer engines.

And upstairs too - yet another bar in the Concert Room.

A detail - one of many such - in the window of the Vault. Other symbols reproduced include champagne bottles and glasses, toby jugs and knight's chess pieces. Get the theme?

By the end of the evening, Pete Cash didn't know if he was coming or going. So much fun from what must be Salford's last surviving revolving door.

Many thanks to the management of the Racecourse Hotel, and to present owners Oakwell Brewery of Barnsley.

Was this the biggest pub crawl ever by the North Manchester Branch of Camra? Surely so, and we were joined by several hundred other punters, five bus drivers (working, not drinking) and three buses. The event lasted twelve hours, starting at midday on Saturday April 27th, and the buses covered nearly 600 miles for us all Our first picture shows the Racecourse Hotel Bus Interchange, where the two Circle services met each hour for part of the day. Here we picked up rumours (as yet unconfirmed) that a businessman, not unknown in Salford Circles, is considering returning the Hotel, and more besides, to its original purpose.

Next pictures show the Inner Circle single decker outside the Welcome in Ordsall and a double decker passing the Eccles Cross. We had to use a single decker on the Inner Circle route as it passed (easily) under the low railway bridge in Green Lane, for access to the Queen's Arms

Even bus drivers need a bus to get home. This minibus was used to ferry relief drivers from their depot in Warrington. Here Branch committee member Phil Pearson is mixing his Camra role with his day job. As Commercial Manager with our operator Network Warrington, he was responsible for the superb electronic screens promoting the Branch. Thanks for that, Phil. And still he resists the Lamb's bleating call. What devotion!

"No alcohol on bus" -Shome mishtake there, shurely?

MOST IMPROVED PUB presentation on November 14th. Landlady Esther Maylor received the certificate from Branch Chair Phil Stout, after an introduction by Branch Secretary Phil Booton, who described to a large group of Camra members and pub users why the Eagle was chosen for the award. Only twelve months ago the pub, a Holts owned house, was threatened with closure. Now re-invigorated, redecorated and with a wider offering of real ales, the Eagle is an undoubted success, and a credit to all concerned.

The NEIL RICHARDSON TROPHY is awarded annually to the Branch pub chosen to represent the traditional values of a northern pub. The winner for 2013 is the UNION TAVERN, Liverpool Street, Salford. The award was presented to tenant Danny Grayson on Wednesday January 2nd by Sue Richardson. Danny is one of Salford's longest-serving licensees, having run the Union Tavern since 1985. Six former Branch Chairs gather to watch Pete shamelessly pour his Holts Bitter over over Phil S's new cowboy boots. Phil B giggles as Duncan screams in terror. The Noble Robin is eyeing up parrot Boddington (hidden on Rupert's left shoulder) again. [l to r: Robin Bence, Duncan Roberts, Roger Hall, Phil Stout, Phil Booton, Pete Cash] Amazingly, they all got home in one piece. The Bulls Head, Walkden High Street, offers a permanent reduction to Camra members. Just show your membership card. Incidentally, many other 'Spoons pubs do the same - its always worth asking.