The daft antics of Oldham Council have made headlines before, with allegations of exceeding their authority and other incompetencies, all under the guise of cutting disorder and increasing public health and safety, but I heard a new one on Saturday.
I was visiting the Landlady in her new pub and mentioned a bunch of us from her old pub would be coming up to the Brass Band Contest on Whit Friday. This extravaganza is held throughout the villages of Saddleworth every year and attracts thousands of visitors. It is free and a lot of fun. Naturally the odd libation plays a part in this and it is a money spinner for the local pubs. My mates are already anticipating the pies in one pub as a yearly treat. This year though it seems it may not be possible for them to enjoy this little pleasure.
The Landlady tells me that on Whit Friday, the Police, at the behest of the council, will be enforcing some conditions for those pubs wishing to be open from half past four onwards (the start of the contest). In her case she will have to have two doormen on each entrance from four o'clock until closing. She will be limited to 75 people in the pub at one time which will be administered by the doormen clicking customers in and out. The cost of course will be borne by the publicans. It seems that similar notices have been served on another dozen or so pubs on the band circuit. The Landlady reckons she can't make money on that basis and in all likelihood won't be open that evening. She reckons some others will do the same.
Now it may be that it isn't as bad as all that and the pubs will open albeit with restrictions, but this is a brass band contest attracting the middle aged. It isn't a source of drunken thuggery or anything like it. Why on earth does the council and police think they need to poke their noses in and quite possibly spoil or at the least make it more difficult for everyone?
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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