An award scheme has been launched by CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) to celebrate the best public houses and clubs in Britain, particularly recognising standards in refurbishment and conservation, and with the closing date for entry is August 31 2014.
The awards, held in association with English Heritage and the Victorian Society, recognise high standards of architecture in the refurbishment and conservation of existing pubs, and the construction of new ones.
‘Whether it’s a converted theatre or a Victorian Coaching House, we are looking to discover the best pub interiors and exteriors that Great Britain has to offer. The CAMRA Pub Design Awards competition is open to all pubs in the UK, and buildings can be nominated by their owners, landlords, local CAMRA branch members, or anybody else that thinks the pub deserves to win’said Sean Murphy, organiser of CAMRA’s Pub Design Awards
However Sean added that ‘entrants should bear in mind that they may be required to provide additional photographs and plans of the building during the judging process, so the pub licensee should always be made aware of, and approve of, the entry.’
Last year’s winners included a diverse range of pubs, from the Hall & Woodhouse in Portishead – a striking new build set in the marina and made from interconnected shipping containers – to the beautifully restored and converted York Tap, built inside the old model railway museum on a York’s train station.
The competition includes five categories:
- New Build category – This category is for entirely new built pubs. The judges look for a number of details when judging the worth of any new establishment. The pub might reflect pubs of the past but without becoming a mere pastiche of Edwardian, Victorian or even Georgian artefacts. Or it could be completely modern, using materials of the 20th or 21st century.
- Refurbishment category – Refurbishment can range from a complete gutting and replacement to an enhancement of what was originally there. Refurbishment should suit the individual pub and not be an excuse to use uniform furnishings to brand the pub with brewery or pub companies image.
- Conversion to Pub Use category- This is where an existing building is converted to pub use. Pubs are judged on the taste and restraint used on both the outside and inside of the pub.
- CAMRA/English Heritage Conservation award - This award, sponsored by English Heritage, is usually given for work which conserves what is good in the pub to ensure its future for generations of customers.
- Joe Goodwin Award Category - named after the late CAMRA chair Joe Goodwin – is reserved for outstanding refurbished street-corner locals.
CAMRA have also recently launched a search for Britain’s best heritage clubs. From backstreet working men’s clubs to plush Golf clubs, and everything in between, CAMRA want to identify clubs with historic interiors or those that were purpose-built and have remained largely unaltered.
‘There are some fantastic clubs all over the UK and we want to find the ones with the best preserved interiors, either those in buildings which are of historic interest or which have remained unaltered since their construction – even if that was as recently as 1971’ said John Holland, Chair of CAMRA’s Clubs Committee.
CAMRA are known for their pub preservation initiatives and have campaigned for a number of years to preserve Britain’s historic pubs, with their book ‘Britain’s Best Real Heritage Pubs’ being a consistent bestseller since publication last year.
Whilst CAMRA campaigns all over the country for high-quality real ales in clubs through the work of a dedicated Clubs Committee, they are keen to stress that this search is about the clubs heritage, not what beer is served.
‘We are always on the lookout for Clubs which serve excellent real ale, but this initiative is about more than beer, it is about discovering the hidden gems around the UK and helping preserve them for the future – regardless of what drinks they have behind the bar. It’s for this reason that we would encourage all clubs which think they are of historic interest to get in touch, no matter what beer you serve.’
For more information on historic clubs, or to submit an entry visit CAMRA
IHBC newsblogs on historic pubs
View the pub award entry details