Pas­sion­ate meet­ing sees com­mu­nity do­ing its bit to save Blun­dell Arms

Southport Visiter - - Camra Column -

THE cam­paign to save the Blun­dell Arms in Birk­dale held a suc­cess­ful pub­lic meet­ing at Birk­dale Con­ser­va­tive Club on Fri­day, Novem­ber 30, writes Neville Grundy.

An at­ten­tive au­di­ence lis­tened to speak­ers dis­cussing var­i­ous as­pects of the cam­paign, in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of suc­cess and the ob­sta­cles that still re­main to be over­come.

There were speeches from two of South­port’s par­lia­men­tary can­di­dates: Labour’s Liz Sav­age and John Wright from the Lib Dems, both pledg­ing sup­port for the cam­paign. Three of us from Camra at­tended, and Mike Perkins ad­dressed the meet­ing on be­half of the lo­cal branch.

Af­ter the speeches, the meet­ing was opened to ques­tions from the floor, some of which were quite search­ing. While there is no doubt that in its fi­nal years the Blun­dell fell on bad times, the cam­paign is clear that they don’t in­tend to re­turn to that sorry pe­riod of the pub’s ex­is­tence.

In­stead they wish to recre­ate it as a com­mu­nity cen­tre as well as a pub with plans that in­clude a de­men­tia café, a chil­dren’s play area, food and a venue for func­tions.

My own mem­o­ries of this pub come from at­tend­ing the Bothy Folk Club there on most Sun­days for 25 years un­til 2003 when the club moved.

Un­til the fi­nal years, it had been a per­fectly de­cent street cor­ner lo­cal, sadly the kind of pub that is dis­ap­pear­ing from our com­mu­ni­ties.

I at­tended quite a few func­tions there my­self, such as wed­dings, wakes and birth­days, in­clud­ing one of my own.

At the meet­ing, Ja­son McCor­mack stated that a video of the meet­ing is to be posted on the group’s Face­book page The Blun­dell Arms Com­mu­nity Pub – have a look for it. He also men­tioned an on­line pe­ti­tion: I’ll give de­tails here when I get them.

REAL ale some­times comes in bot­tles, although not all bot­tled ales are real; check the la­bel for the term “bot­tled con­di­tioned” which means the fer­men­ta­tion was com­pleted in the bot­tle.

Camra’s Cham­pion Bot­tled Beer of Bri­tain for 2018 is Fuller’s 1845, which was an­nounced at the BBC Good Food Show at the Birm­ing­ham NEC, fol­low­ing a se­ries of lo­cal vot­ing rounds and re­gional judg­ing com­pe­ti­tions through­out the year.

The 6.3% strong ale was de­scribed by judges as ‘rich and fruity, ma­tured to per­fec­tion and easy drink­ing’.

Fuller’s is bet­ter known for the pop­u­lar Lon­don Pride.

Temp­ta­tion Im­pe­rial by Durham Brew­ery won sil­ver, and St Austell’s Big Job won bronze.

A pos­i­tive meet­ing has heard lo­cal politi­cians pledge sup­port as well as ideas for the di­rec­tion The Blun­dell Arms should take

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