Awards Director Gary Timmins fills us in on the 2020 Campaigner of the Year award winner.

Campaigners play a hugely important part in realising CAMRA’s aims as an organisation, both by working to save pubs, and in spreading our message to members of the public. As ever, the standard of nominations for Campaigner of the Year was incredibly high and reflected the diversity of the campaigning work done across the country. The judges were delighted to read through the testimonials and commented upon the wide range of activities recognised therein.

The finalists were:

Cath Potter – Central Manchester Branch.

Adrian Smith – Central Lancashire Branch.

Joanne Scott – North London Branch.

Laurie Gibney – Bristol branch.

Mike Smith – Berkshire South East Branch

Mark Haslam – Herefordshire Branch.

I am delighted to announce that this years winner of Campaigner of the Year 2020 is Mark Haslam of Herefordshire Branch.

Mark Haslam is a founding member of Herefordshire Branch, and is a previous recipient, in 2010, of CAMRA’s Campaigner of the Year award. In the intervening ten years his commitment to CAMRA has increased substantially and his experience level has become even more formidable.

His commitment to real ale is clear. He established – and continues to organise – the very successful Beer on the Wye festival.

But he is acutely aware that without pubs there would be no real ale, and it is in campaigning to save and promote pubs that his real passion is apparent. His workload has steadily increased, and it is largely due to his efforts that in Herefordshire the bar is now set very high against pub-owners seeking change of use.

The above barely does justice to Mark’s enthusiasm, commitment, leadership and skills. He is at home in front of microphones and television cameras, always managing to say the right thing under pressure. He is comfortable among the press, businessmen and politicians. He has a vast knowledge of planning procedures and enthusiastically provides considerable advice and support for CAMRA branches and community groups whose pubs are under threat, both locally and more widely across the country. He often manages to ruffle feathers but invariably calms the situation, turning it into a positive campaigning opportunity. His writing style is legendary, and he is the mainstay of the Branch Magazine.

Well done Mark.

The campaigning activities for which Mark was nominated included:

· A valuable community pub, The Broadleys in Hereford, was reprieved from conversion to a convenience store following a hard-hitting confrontation with the Co-op and NewRiver Retail.

· Mark helped to guide two pubs into community ownership, adding to one already established in 2012.

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