FOURTEEN real ale lovers have come forward to form a sub branch of a popular organisation for social drinking in Uttoxeter.
Campaign for Real Ale members in Uttoxeter, concerned that the Heart of Staffordshire branch did not sufficiently cover the town, have now clubbed together in a bid to set up their own arm of the organisation.
The ale lovers were concerned that the organisation did not cover Uttoxeter as well as it should due to public transport constraints.
Dave Felthouse, of CAMRA, said: "Following recent coverage in the local press, plus a mail out from CAMRA headquarters, there are now 14 interested members of the fledgling Uttoxeter sub branch of CAMRA.
"I am delighted with this response, which has far exceeded my initial expectations.
"I am particularly pleased that several females have expressed interest. CAMRA these days is far removed from the stereotype CAMRA member; a male with a beard and large stomach.
"The next step is to arrange a meeting of all interested members in central Uttoxeter when we can set up the sub branch.
"It is hoped that this will occur within the next four to seven weeks."
Mr Felthouse stressed to drinkers considering joining the group that it was not too late.
He called on anyone who was interested to come forward and join together to help set up the Uttoxeter sub-branch in order to get the town's venues featured in the Good Beer Guide and organise CAMRA meetings at its establishments.
He said: "I know that several CAMRA members here feel isolated and ignored by Heart of Staffordshire CAMRA – and this is mainly a logistical matter as we are so poorly served by public transport in the evenings.
"Getting to or from Uttoxeter late at night other than by car is pretty hopeless.
"The last train back from Derby is at around 8.40pm, with a slightly later one from Stoke-on-Trent.
"With this in mind, if anyone has any news on pubs in the area I will be pleased to hear from them.
"There are several benefits – not least being that we would have up to three entries in the Good Beer Guide.
"There are several good pubs and good beers to be had in the Uttoxeter area but at the moment we don't have any entries at all in the guide."
He told the Advertiser: "I have a venue in mind for the initial meeting and can get someone to come along from our parent branch to talk to us about how to get started."
Anyone interested should contact Dave Felthouse on 07504 782901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about Staffordshire CAMRA is available online at www.heartofstaffordshirecamra.org.uk
The news comes shortly after Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths was honoured for his work to support the beer industry.
As part of a joint initiative between the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), Burton-based Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the MP has been recognised for his support of the British beer industry during 2013.
Mr Griffiths said: "I am delighted to have been recognised as a beer champion by CAMRA and the brewing industry.
" am even more delighted that these awards recognise the large number of MPs from across all parties who joined in with the campaign I led.
"I'm always happy to educate my colleagues on how great East Staffordshire beer is."
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was founded in 1971 and has been campaigning for real ale, pubs and drinkers' rights ever since.
CAMRA has more than 200 branches around the UK and all activities are led by volunteers.
Members give up their own time to work with pubs in their area, host beer festivals and campaign on a variety of issues.
More information is online at www.camra.org.uk