CAMRA was formed in 1971 because there was a real danger that real ale was going to disappear - to be replaced by keg beer. Many brewers had already stopped brewing real ale.
CAMRA in Swindon & North Wiltshire began on 18th October 1974 when a small group of enthusiasts held the first meeting at Wadworth's Brewery. At that time there were very few pubs in Swindon and the surrounding area that served Real Ale.
In the early 1970s, the big six breweries were rapidly acquiring such power, that they were telling us that we had to drink what they produced. That was an insipid, straw-colored, gassy concoction, laced with chemicals to provide long life and high profits for the breweries. Who can forget Watney’s Red Barrel and Whitbread Starlight! Then along came the Campaign for Real Ale. Locally its champion was historian, music impresario and ale devotee David Backhouse. He not only created and led one of the earliest CAMRA branches in the country, but began the Swindon Beerex in October 1976, at the time in the Mechanics Institute. This was a building David loved, and to which he left £12,000 in his will, for its future preservation.
It’s fair to say that, at least his work to promote proper English beer, has turned out to be a stunning success, with still more breweries and real ale on public house bars, every year that goes by.
Swindon Camra Beer Festival 2020
Given the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and the possibility of local lockdowns in the next few months we have regretfully decided to cancel this year’s Swindon Beer Festival at the STEAM museum.
We hope to see you all at next year’s festival which is Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd October 2021 at STEAM.
The following pubs are in need of a survey. Please help to keep our pub database up to date. Here is a Blank Pub Survey Form if needed.
Click on the pub name to see the current details on the WhatPub site. If you have changes you can send them to the Swindon branch by clicking the "Send an email to the CAMRA branch" link after the pub details.
Aldbourne Sports & Social Club,Oxford Street, Aldbourne,SN8 2DQ
Ashford Road Working Men Club,17-18 Ashford Road,Ashford,SN18 3NT
Avebury & District Club,Avebury, Marlborough,SN8 1RB
Bedwyn & Dist Royal British Legion,23 High Street Marlborough, SN8 3NU
Boundary House,1 The Street,Swindon,SN25 3ER
Burbage & Eastern Royal British Legion Club,58-60 Eastcourt road Burbage,SN8 3AJ
Chiseldon Royal British Legion Social Club,6 Draycott Road Chiseldon,SN4 0LRZ
Dolphin,177 Rodbourne Road,SWINDON,SN2 2AF
Fox & Hounds,10 High Street,SWINDON,SN25 1HX
Gorse Hill Working Men Club,Chapel Street ,SWINDON,SN2 8DA
Wheatsheaf,Ermin Street,Swindon,SN3 4NH