Something came through the post that made me drop my coffee last week. Now recently I've done a bit of CAMRA bashing, but after this I really am doubting how much I want to stay involved. I've been asked to help organise one of their beer festivals, which is good fun, but I'm finding myself disagreeing with them on more and more subjects recently.
The Rhydspence Inn is a local coaching inn - a lovely looking black and white tucked off the main road from Brecon to Hereford. It's not in a town, village or even hamlet - just four houses are in the area.
The owner has been trying to sell it for several years, with very little interest apparently. Having reduced the asking price several times, he's now decided to apply for a change of use to a private dwelling. He's just had enough of the trade and wants to retire.
The following letter came through regarding this at the end of last week from Herefordshire CAMRA:
EDIT: I've now had time to re-type my main points throughout their letter in blue:
You do it then. Put your money where your mouth is - you make it sound so easy. It comes across as bloody dismissive of the hard work all the licensees in the area (and further) put in just to keep their doors open. As for the locals trade, have a look at this google map that shows you just how many 'locals' the pub has.
I'll give you a clue, it's the same as 2 couples...
Who are these 'others in the trade'? And by saying 'others' do you consider yourself to be 'in the trade'? Now your telling us as a matter of fact that this asking price is 'unrealistic' - your yet to prove it. The final sentence is missing a few words: In CAMRA's Opinion
But you've made it perfectly clear, presenting as factual, that it hasn't been marketed appropriately. So you don't need to ask, you need to them that in your highest-of-high opinions 'to grant planning permission would be highly inappropriate'.
Ah, about this 'important' pub. How many times has Hereford CAMRA arranged a trip to it? How many of their members have submitted NBSS scores on it? Surely such an important pub is worthy of a CAMRA meeting? Nope...