Welcome to the Stockport and South Manchester CAMRA Branch

We are a very active branch of some 1,550 pub, beer and cider lovers drawn from the south of Manchester and most of the old county borough of Stockport. For full details of boundary see the Area section of the About us tab by clicking here.

When the branch was originally formed in the Printers Arms in January 1974 it was initially known as South Manchester and covered a much larger area than current. Originally it also covered what are now the boroughs of Salford, Trafford and even as far as Warrington! Because we jumped the gun slightly, the Urban District Councils of Marple and Bredbury were not included, as they only became a part of Stockport when Greater Manchester was formed in April 1974. This accounts for the anomaly of the Stockport & South Manchester Branch not covering the whole borough of Stockport! Then again, calling ourselves West & Central Stockport and South Manchester would be a real (if accurate) mouthful.

Our activities vary from social outings to beer festival, through regular monthly consumer surveying (better known as a Meanders or Stagger), to campaigning about endangered beer types. For more information click here.

Fancy yourself as an ace reporter? Why not help with our award winning monthly magazine Opening Times. With at least 16, and often 24 A4 pages of copy required articles are always welcome. More details here.

Trip to Bury — Saturday 20th August 2022

A day out visiting watering holes in Bury. Not only can you visit the world famous(?) Bury Market [travel early if you want a good look around] but also a selective six pubs to visit. These range from a historic Victorian Cinema, through modern micropubs to a railway station waiting room [with steam trains outside to boot!] — surely something for everyone.

Timetable and itinerary details here

Diary of Events

Here is the current "live" Stockport and South Manchester CAMRA Branch's Google diary. The diary of events is now getting back to a near normal schedule.

If you wish to open it as a separate window click here

Pub of the Month

With around 400 pubs to choose from in the Branch area, to be chosen for this award a pub has to have done something outstanding.

A number of contenders are considered, with a winner emerging after, a sometimes exhaustive, selection process. That is the hard part over, now to the presentation of the award. This takes place (usually) on the fourth Thursday of the month starting at 8pm.

Presentation of the Stockport & South Manchester CAMRA Pub of the Month for August 2022 is to the Head of Steam on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury. and it will be presented from 8pm onwards on Thursday 25 August 2022.

For a fuller description of why this pub is Pub Of the Month read the full article.

Weekday Wanders

September Weekday Wander — Marple & Marple Bridge
11:20am Wednesday 31 August 2022

This is another Weekday Wander which has been backed into a corner by the calendar — the first of the month is on Thursday and Monday is a Bank Holiday! Oh well se la vie.

Because of the later opening times of some of today's pubs, this entails a bit of toing and froing to fit them all in, so make sure you have a runabout bus ticket.

First off we will be travelling to Marple Bridge to the Norfolk Arms where, if they have re-stocked after the Bank Holiday weekend, food is available, but I'm intrigued why their webpage has a menu priced in US dollars! They have a varying range of beers on offer, with occasional 'eclectic' offerings as illustrated by a Facebook post of 30 June for Mystic Cherry beer from Belgium. Unfortunately we won't be staying late enough to take advantage of their Happy Hour as we need to double back up the hill to Marple.

On Market Street in Marple we will be calling in to the Samuel Oldknow. With six handpulls, one dedicated to Brightside and another to a dark beer there should be something for everyone. The premise isn't overlarge, so should we number twenty or more some may have to retire to the outdoor drinking area. For anyone still desiring food, there is an excellent Cambodian restaurant (it was the first in England) just around the corner on the main street.

Back on the bus again, this time travelling past the Norfolk Arms to alight at the stop labelled Northumberland Arms. We will however be diverting to the Spring Gardens first [saves crossing the road twice!]. Rescued from a period of closure, the smart, light and airy interior is extensive in size, so no exiling of people unless the party swells to fifty or more. For those who don't want to partake of traditional pub games, dominoes and cribbage, there is a room towards the rear which has a table football and a pinball machine.

Crossing the road we enter the Northumberland Arms, which is a complete contrast in decor. Several small areas branch off the bar, so again we may have to split up! Originally a Robinsons house, when facing closure, the local residents banded together and purchased it and now run it as a community pub. The beer is now anything but Robinsons, so expect the unexpected.

Now it is time to leave, and the two circular bus routes are timed to cross virtually outside. If anyone has a preference to complete the circle there is a bus at around 5:20pm to Stockport via Romiley. For those less fussy, and who wish to avoid crossing the road again, the Marple bound bus is timed at around 5:15pm


11:25am11:58am Bus 383 from stop G Mersey Square [on the rise up to St Peters Square] Stockport to Marple Bridge
11:59am1:00pm Norfolk Arms2 Town Street, Marple Bridge, SK6 5DSNoon - 9pm
1:09pm1:13pm 384 bus Marple Bridge back to Marple
1:15pm2:50pm Samuel Oldknow22 Market Street, Marple, SK6 7ADNo
2:58pm3:03pm Bus 383 from Marple to Spring Gardens/Northumberland Arms
3:05pm4:05pm Spring Gardens89 Compstall Road, Marple Bridge, SK6 5HENo
4:10pm5:10pm Northumberland Arms64 Compstall Road, Marple Bridge, SK6 5HDNo
 384 bus to Stockport via Marple or
 383 bus to Stockport via Romiley

A listing of the future Weekday Wanders can be found here with past Wanders here.

Stockport Beer Town

A leaflet showing all the cask ale outlets within the town centre of Stockport.

For anyone interested in beer, pubs and breweries, Stockport really is one of Britain's best Beer Towns.

Robinsons have been brewing here since 1838 and you can take a tour of the present brewery to see the old alongside the new.

Several other breweries came and went over the years and in more recent times, a few micro-breweries set up close to the Town Centre. Some have now moved elsewhere or closed, but Remedy Brewhouse in the Market Place and Fool Hardy Ales at the Hope Inn remain in production.

In the small area covered by this leaflet, you can find over 30 pubs and bars pouring around 80 different cask ales from across the nation. Not only is there a huge selection of beers, but you can also enjoy your drink in all sorts of establishments - from music bars and micro-pubs to community ale-houses and nationally important heritage inns.

Stockport has it all; it's a premier league Beer Town. Come along and enjoy the scene - and don't forget to tell all your friends about it.

In the interim since this leaflet was produced five establishments have closed and one has been re-branded. An update has been overprinted on the downloadable version.

Download a copy

A Little Help Required

… a little being the operative word.

Stockport & South Manchester Branch now has some 1,600 members. Like most volunteer organisations, it is a small handful of people that do all the work, which at times gets a little tedious.

I can't believe that out of such a large membership there are not a few more bodies who couldn't spare the odd hour once or twice a year. How about a stroll around your local pubs and shops and putting up Beer Festival posters. What about an hour helping erect all that metalwork which forms the stillage for the beer at the Festival. No skill is required, it clips together in an {almost} fool-proof manner, it doesn't even require big muscles.

Do you know it takes around 160 full time people to run the Festival? That is only 10% of our branch membership but we are dependent on people from other branches to staff it!

Come on lads and lasses, get involved. That 'handful' of volunteers mean you are well looked after in this Branch. Don't take that 'handful' for granted — they will not be with us forever.

To miss quote Mr W Churchill;

"Never in Stockport Beer Festival,
      was so much owed,
            by so many,
                  to so few."

David Sharpe — one of the Few

Join the Campaign for Real Ale

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CAMRA's Campaigns

Good beer: CAMRA promotes traditional ales through awards to those who brew or sell them at their best, through 150 annual beer festivals, and through the best-selling Good Beer Guide.

Pubs: With dozens of pubs lost or altered every week CAMRA fights the crass vandalism to your heritage. CAMRA also helps obtain Listed Building status for historic pubs, and promote the importance of "the local" to the community it serves.

Consumer rights: CAMRA campaigns for a fair deal for you the customer, on issues such as full-measure legislation and licensing reform. We act as a vigorous consumer voice in Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels.

Choice: CAMRA promotes independent brewers so you can have something other than national brands. We fight for a licensee's right to stock a guest beer which is free of any outside influence so that landlords can stock what THEY (and you their customers) want to drink.



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