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Press Release


CAMRA recognises outstanding achievements in clubs

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has announced three joint winners of its inaugural Club Recognition Award. The award celebrates and recognises a person, group, or organisation which has made an outstanding achievement, commitment, or contribution to the promotion of real ale, cider or perry in social clubs over the last 12 months – or ongoing outstanding work.

The winners are Phil Cowtan of Ladybarn Social Club, Manchester; Kay Drummond of Tanfield Lea Working Men’s and Community Club, County Durham; and Nigel and Teressa Pickering of Wortley Club, South Yorkshire.  

Phil Cowtan is the secretary and bar/cellarman for the Ladybarn Social Club, Manchester, and during his tenure he has transformed the real ale range. His first change was to persuade the club to buy out a Carlsberg-Tetley tie and change its focus onto local and smaller craft brewers. He introduced hazy cask beers which, despite significant doubts from other committee members, proved to be a success. Phil has continued to promote new independent brewers (such as Stockport’s Steelfish) and has now increased the number of handpumps to four. As a result of his commitment and enthusiasm, the Ladybarn Social Club has become a cask ale oasis in what, over the years, has become both a pub and beer desert.  

Kay Drummond of Tanfield Lea Working Men’s and Community Club, County Durham was nominated for her dedication over many years to providing and promoting real ale in an area where it is scarce. Recently awarded Club & Institute Union (CIU) Club of the Month for September, it’s now in the running for the national award, and Kay says that providing cask ale is a “real labour of love…and a driver of trade.” She hosts an annual beer festival, and constantly promotes real ale, which is sourced from both local breweries and smaller ones across the land, concentrating on independent concerns. There’s always at least one interesting and little-known brew available, and this has proved vital in introducing customers to real ale in an environment not known for the product. The club is also very community-based, hosting numerous charity events throughout the year and even added the word “community” to its name to celebrate its centenary this year.  

Nigel and Teressa Pickering of Wortley Club, South Yorkshire were recognised for their unparalleled passion for community engagement. They have consistently shown a deep commitment to the Wortley Club’s mission of fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among its members. Their involvement in organising and participating in various community events, fundraisers, and social gatherings has been instrumental in creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all members. Their genuine interest in getting to know fellow members and their willingness to extend a helping hand to newcomers have made the club a warm and inviting place for everyone. Nigel and Teressa’s unwavering support for Wortley Club’s charitable endeavours has made a significant impact on the local community. They have consistently championed various initiatives including the Wortley Real Ale and Cider Festival, raising funds for local charities and spearheading community service projects. Their commitment to giving back to the community serves as an inspiration to all members and reinforces the club’s values of compassion and altruism. 

The winners were announced at the Club Mirror Awards (Wednesday 22 November), alongside the four finalists of CAMRA’s Club of the Year Award.  

Pictured (from left): Kay Drummond, Tanfield Lea Working Men’s and Community Club; Phil Cowtan, Ladybarn Social Club; Teressa and Becky Pickering, Wortley Club; and Laura Emson, CAMRA Awards Director