Campaigning Day to North Devon 4th June

Monday 20 June 2016

South West Region of CAMRA - 50 shades of grey campaigning Day to North Devon

50 shades of grey from South West Region of CAMRA went on a campaigning Day to North Devon. What a great day was had by all. The CAMRA members travelled from far and wide. There were members from Cheltenham, Bristol, North Devon, South Devon, Exeter, Somerset, Plymouth, Swindon, North-West Wiltshire, and of course Cornwall. Who met at Exeter train station on Saturday 4th June where a coach was waiting to take the members on a tour of North Devon.

The first stop on the agenda was Sticklepath which was home to two great pubs. The Devonshire Inn where real ales are served directly from a stillages at the back of the bar which are cooled by the Foundry Leat that runs outside. The Taw River Inn was the other pub in the village a 17th century manor house opposite Finch Foundry. There is also an arch that leads to Tom Cobley’s summerhouse and the Quaker burial ground.

At around 12.15 another coach joined the party (sorry “Campaigning Day”) from Bristol area. This meant that the number of CAMRA dramatically increased to around 85. What a great turnout.

There were two mini buses laid on at Sticklepath to ferry the members around the North Devon small windy roads to the other six pubs on our tour. The Kings Arms, South Zeal a thatched 14th century village local that was once a cider house. It has a large garden which overlooks farmland and has views over Dartmoor. The pub also host village events and Dartmoor folk festival.

The Oxenham Arms, South Zeal a beautiful building first listed in the 15th century and has been licensed since 1477. This extraordinary building also houses two prehistoric standing stones; it is said that when some people touch the stones they feel warm.

The Post Inn, Whiddon Down which is a 16th century inn with a lovely garden. The garden has stunning views of Dartmoor. The pubis situated just off the A30 close to Whiddon Down Travelodge and only a short walk from North Dartmoor.

The Railway Inn, North Tawton which is situated next to the former North Tawton railway station. It is known as ‘A proper job pub’ around the area as it is small and simple, yet a unique and characterful Devon country pub. There are lots of old station photos and memorabilia to look at.

The Red Lion, Exbourne which was accredited Branch Pub of the Year two years running in 2014 and 2015. The pub serves all the ales and ciders on gravity. This is a traditional Devon village local which does not have any hand pumps and the landlord refuses to serve draught lager. The pub is close to St Mary’s church which was built from granite in mainly c.1500 in date.

The Tors, Belstone is situated at the edge of Dartmoor village. The village pub is a well-known starting point for walkers of Dartmoor and also a welcoming resting place for walkers of Dartmoor. There are great views of Dartmoor from the pubs beer garden.

The mini buses were running members from pub to pub all day long, which we were all very grateful for. The regional and branch breweries supported our campaign by supplying all the pubs with a barrel of beer and the pubs generously gave us the beer at a very pleasing price. Not dissimilar to the 90’s I believe, have to ask the Regional Director about that?

The coaches left Sticklpath around six to head back to Exeter station and Bristol. A great day was had by all and a hugh thank you on behalf of Kernow CAMRA has to go out to the pubs for entertaining us, the breweries for their wonderful beer, the coaches, mini buses and drivers for their patience and all the organisers of the fantastic tour.

Sonia Bunce Press Officer Kernow CAMRA