This is the third of three columns as the new members of the National Executive introduce themselves. This month Gillian Hough describes some of her priorities.

In the mists of history when Wetherspoon vouchers were a relatively new innovation, I served two terms on the National Executive (NE) before standing down at Wolverhampton in 2007. So I was fully aware of the time commitment, level of involvement and passion which is required of all NE Members before I stood for election.

Firstly, I must thank all 6,608 Members who voted for me. I will endeavor to work hard to ensure your Branch voice is heard. After all, I’m just an ordinary member, with a bit more legal responsibility!

So far becoming an NE Member for me has meant becoming Chair of CAMRA Books Committee following on from the excellent work of both David Brazier and Alexander Wright, and others over time. I recognise the valuable Campaigning tool, learning and education resource our Books provide.

At Easter, I was in Toronto visiting family and met Lauren Richard who is undertaking an arduous course in beer appreciation. We got talking, and I mentioned CAMRA and Lauren mentioned that CAMRA’s Cellermanship Book by Pat O’Neill was required reading. The global impact our books can have was brought home to me at that moment, and I’m keen that we maintain our position by continually updating content and focus of our publications to ensure we are keeping pace with the market.

In August I joined the ranks of over 1,000 volunteers at The Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) and was assisting in two areas: as part of the Wet Stock Team, who book in and out hundreds and thousands of casks, and within the Organisers Office where I supported Catherine Tonry.

Some Members may recall Christian Muteau and his masterful command of the GBBF tannoy announcements.  Christian and I attended the same Polytechnic and were fellow East London and City Branch Members; he was a unique and brilliant individual. While I doubt if I could ever be as good as Christian with my tannoy announcements at The GBBF, I was proud to do it, and I’d like to think I didn’t let him down either.

Looking forward, my diary is quickly filling up with weekend meetings, as new NE Members are encouraged to attend as many different Committees as possible. So who knows you might see me in a pub near you sipping a cider or beer but always asking questions and checking why we do things certain ways.

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