Website last updated 10th September 2020

Welcome to the website for the West Suffolk and Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) which is financed by membership subscriptions, sales of books and merchandise and proceeds from national and local beer festivals. CAMRA is a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee.
Our local branch has over 1000 members so why not join us at our monthyl branch meeting, see diary for details.

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The local West Suffolk & Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) recognises a public house or landlord every month that provides an outstanding service for its local community and real ale and cider drinkers, with its ‘Pub of the Month’ (PoTM) award scheme.

October 2020 PoTM Beerhouse Bury St Edmunds
This month sees Bury St Edmunds BEERHOUSE recognised as CAMRA’s October 2020 ‘Pub of the Month’. Located at the junction of Tayfen Road and Station Hill the distinctive curved building is operated by Gusto Pronto Ltd, owners of Brewshed Brewery, as its Brewery Tap. The pub has undergone adaption inside and out to provide a safe, COVID secure experience for its’ customers. With a full range of Brewshed real ales and craft beers, an extensive list of cider and other drinks, and food from the on-site wood fired Pizza kitchen, the pub is busy and buzzing with a welcoming atmosphere. The owners have invested heavily, introducing strict social distancing measures, capacity controls, remote ordering, and repurposing the former car park as an undercover drinking and eating area. A large suspended ‘sail’ covers the courtyard bordered by a suite of self-contained ‘beer huts’ – complete with heat and light – which are a popular addition for socially distanced groups of up to six.

Owner and Director, David Marjoram commented “the pandemic has seriously impacted us but I am determined to succeed in the face of adversity. That has involved a lot of ‘out of the box’ thinking by our teams and innovative ideas, including our popular social bubble ‘beer hut’ concept at the Beerhouse. We’re using all the tools at our disposal to try and maintain a viable business, whilst pushing against a tide of Government intervention and the 10p.m. curfew.”

Chris Bailey, CAMRA Branch Chairman commented “It is fabulous to see such innovative ideas and investment to ensure the drinking and eating experience is still pleasurable in these very difficult times. What David and his team have created at the Beerhouse is truly unique and definitely warrants our October ‘Pub of the Month’ accolade”

Haydn Lyons, who has recently taken over as Beerhouse manager continued “the feedback from our customers has been very positive and they love the ‘beer hut’ experience. They tell us they feel COVID safe with these in combination with our social distancing measures, remote ordering App., table service and contactless payment”



Fox and Hounds first post ockdown PoTM winner Sep 2020 The local West Suffolk & Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) recognises a public house or landlord every month that provides an outstanding service for it’s local community and real ale and cider drinkers through its ‘Pub of the Month’ (PoTY) scheme.
The awards were suspended in March because of COVID-19 but have now restarted.
Landlord, Andy Bendall and his wife Lucy, of The Fox & Hounds, Thurston are worthy winners of the September award, the first since lock down restrictions eased. In short listing eligible candidates for the award CAMRA members considered all aspects of pub going and the ‘new normal’. Andy and Lucy have fully refurbished their pub whilst forcibly closed, doubled their outside undercover seating area and introduced a robust one-way system to ensure social distancing and a COVID secure environment. They are now open again all day, every day, offering a full food and drink service including six, constantly changing real ales.

Chris Bailey, CAMRA Branch Chairman commented “It is pleasing to see a village local reinvent itself and maintain all day trading in very difficult circumstances. Andy and Lucy have invested heavily to provide a safe environment for their customers. They deserve our recognition for doing so”. Andy continued “We took over the reins here eighteen months ago and could not have anticipated the effects of Coronavirus. We have worked tirelessly to overcome the hurdles created by the pandemic and feel justifiably pleased we have succeeded. Recently we’ve been recognised for our hospitality and food service and this latest recognition from local drinkers and CAMRA members strengthens that. Since the lockdown we’ve seen a change in our customer base; many now travel from Bury St Edmunds and further afield, using our excellent public transport links, and tell us they do so as the environment we have created here makes them feel safe and COVID secure.”

The local CAMRA branch now plans to continue its monthly awards scheme recognising pubs throughout West Suffolk that support its core values and have managed to ‘buck the trend’ and adapt to the new trading environment. Pubs receiving the monthly award are also considered for it’s annual ‘Pub of the Year award.


Your local beer is under threat. The Government is set to increase the tax paid by some small independent breweries in the UK. This could lead to brewery closures and less choice at the bar for you. CAMRA has joined calls for the Government to think again – we need your help to persuade them that this is bad for UK brewing and bad for consumers. You can help by signing the petitition. More info click here


*** 10 September 2020 ***

Some good news at last?

Suffolk's Mauldons Brewery are hosting a BEER FESTIVAL at the Lindsey Rose at Lindsey Tye just off the A1141 between Monks Eleigh and Hadleigh, postcode IP7 6PP. They have a two acre garden and a 2 acre car park so social distancing is not a problem and all pandemic precautions will be in place including the new rule of 6. It is planned to have beers from (at least ) Moongazer, Mighty Oak, and Exmoor breweries and of course their own. The dates remain the same, Sat. 26th Sept from 11.00am and Sunday 27th until 16.00 or until the beer runs out
that's right a beer festival.
For more info see their website or call 01787 311055

*** 7 September 2020 *** The first of what is hoped will be quarterly Branch newsletters has just be published and circulated to members. A copy can also be downloaded from the 'Members Area' of this website


The West Suffolk & Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has recently rewarded local licensees, Barry and Jane Waterman of The White Horse, Beyton near Bury St Edmunds, with a lifetime achievement certificate for their record of long service as local publicans.
Licensees Barry and Jane Waterman being presented with their award by West Suffolk and Borders CAMRA Branch Chairman Chris Bailey (Left) outside the Beyton White Horse.

As we climb out of Lockdown Barry and Jane have clocked up a mammoth forty-four years as publicans for local brewer, Greene King, a career which began in Cambridge in 1976. The past thirty-five years of these have been spent at The White Horse, a cosy comfortably furnished village centre pub offering meals and accommodation, and which is renowned for the quality of its locally brewed Abbot Ale. One of the pubs most unusual features is its Well plunging sixty feet, from the bar to an underground stream, and alleged to be the water source for an onsite brewery in the 17 th Century.

Commenting on the award Barry and Jane say “It’s a privilege to receive such an award and recognition from CAMRA for all our hard work.” Barry, a former Michael Caine impersonator, continued “Earlier this year we were nominated for a national Greene King Excellence Award”. Unfortunately the presentation evening had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. This latest award and recognition from local drinkers makes up for some of that disappointment.”

Presenting the award, Chris Bailey, local CAMRA Branch Chairman added “The village local forms the cornerstone of many communities, evidenced no more so than during the recent lockdown when so many publicans stepped up to the plate to support the vulnerable in their communities. As our Branch longest serving publicans Barry and Jane’s unprecedented commitment to Beyton and the wider community is testimony to this and emphasises how important it is to Protect your local Pub. I would urge those who value these community assets to join CAMRA and help save them from closure.”

The final thoughts from Barry and Jane, when asked to recall the most memorable events of their long career were two fold; firstly was the ‘smoking ban’ which hit the licensed trade hard – “We had to reinvent ourselves to stay in business” and, secondly, “The kindness and compassion of customers, locals, and friends from across the licenced trade following the unexpected loss of our daughter, Sarah, a victim of the Swine Flu epidemic, in January 2011.”

*** 18 August 2020 ***

Hook the Cook ockdown award pic
Independent local brewer receives ‘Lockdown Champion’ Award.
Full story on Brewery News

12 August 2020
West Suffolk CAMRA organising committee had hoped to be able to reschedule our beer festival for later in the year but regrettably due to the ongoing CORVID-19 situation the decision has been taken that this years festival will not now be able to take place and is therefore formally cancelled


Please support local beer, pubs and cider as we come out of lockdown
Pubs, clubs, breweries and taprooms have faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 lockdown. Some pubs and clubs are reopening, some will stay closed for now, and some are still offering takeaway and delivery services
Information will appear here soon but in the meantime you can download an update on what pubs in our West Suffolk and Borders branch area are doing by clicking here

*** 21st July 2020 ***



The local West Suffolk & Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has rewarded local licensees, publicans and brewers this week with a special ‘Lock Down Champions’ award.

The awards are in recognition of those thirty-six pubs and brewers in West Suffolk who have continued to serve their local communities during the past four months of lock down by opening their businesses to deliver a host of new initiatives … beer off sales, takeaway meals, pop up shops and extra services for struggling communities, all of which have really proved that ‘The Pub is the Hub’ in many town and rural communities.

A small handful of publicans and brewers have also been recognised with an ‘Above and Beyond’ award in recognition of their extra efforts to support their communities. Ranging from local brewers Nethergate and Brewshed, who have provided essential services direct from the brewery door, to local pubs who have provided take away meal services, home delivery to the elderly and vulnerable and community shops. Amongst the latter are the Gardners Arms, Tostock and Stanningfield, Red House.

Martin Bate, CAMRA branch Vice Chairman said “ Our members felt it important that we recognise the efforts of so many local licensees who during the lock down, and whilst suffering an unprecedented loss of business and their own financial hardship, have gone beyond the normal call of duty to support their communities”

David Marjoram of Gustopronto Limited, owners of Ingham’s Brewshed, who personally served more than 25,000 pints of takeaway real ale from his pop up outlet at the brewery whilst his five pubs were closed by the lock down, said “Receiving this award at such a difficult time for our industry is kind, thoughtful and much appreciated. It is good to know that our efforts have been valued by so many and that CAMRA and its membership recognise this”

Martin Bate continued “Pubs are now re-opening but it will be several months before normality returns. The limits on numbers, social distancing and less trade will add further pressures, particularly for those in rural villages. We urge everyone to support their ‘local’ as a customer. Sadly, because of the pandemic, we have already seen pubs in this area close permanently. This really is the time of ‘Use it or lose it’.

Above - David Marjoram of Brewshed receives his Above and beyond Lockdown Champion award certificate from CAMRA branch officers Paul Cooper and Martin Bate


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Also on this page Latest NEWS Branch TwitterPub WalksDisclaimers

Want some nostalgia?
Some interesting recollections (well for us oldies anyway) just in about The Griffin from someone who used to manage the pub/restaurant back in the 1960s. Check it out on our Nostalgia page


Walk No. 1 Thurston-Pakenham-Thurston

This easy circular walk takes you through varied Suffolk countryside and villages and past three real ale pubs.
What more excuse do you need?
For more information see Pub Walks page or click here


This is the website of the West Suffolk and Borders of CAMRA. Copyright © 2018 West Suffolk and Borders Branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).
The views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the Campaign for Real Ale Ltd.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that any reviews or comments expressed in these web pages, be they good, bad or indifferent, are those of the reviewer only and their appearance on this website does not mean that they are endorsed by West Suffolk and Borders branch of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)