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Nice place Sheffield, but somewhat hilly. Lots of good pubs and beer and a great tram system taking you to the door of many of said pubs. Trams are the biz. There's also a chance to meet old friends and drink a few beers too and to listen to the great and good of CAMRA speak on what many regarded as a somewhat boring agenda. Somehow this turned into a close run thing with tellers called a few times as votes were so close, though not you'll be glad to know, on the two nuttier resolutions mentioned by Jeff Pickthall in his blog. These were unequivocally thrown out.

The Strategy Review document which I was involved in, was expertly presented by our committee Chairman, ex MP John Grogan and seemed to meet with a fair bit of approval and even the most sceptical agreed it was a good piece of work, though we the members need to ensure it is driven through into action. Lively debates on JDW vouchers and non real beers at festivals were good to listen to and the guest speaker, Chris Holmes, who runs a chain of pubs and a brewery, was both entertaining and thought provoking. Far from being a bigoted bunch of old duffers, there was much passion and thought in what was said, though of course the odd unreconstructed type was there too.

The Bloggerati even got a mention by the National Chairman along the lines of "drink what you like, but we campaign for real ale" which readers some may find inconvenient, though surely not surprising and with a very positive Campaigns Report from Mike Benner, our CEO, it was pretty reaffirming for those there, actually enjoyable and a reminder that being part of something is really rather satisfying.

So for CAMRA, it is business as usual, but with the Strategy Review feeding into the next Strategic plan, we'll have more focus and I believe, undiminished enthusiasm. We campaign for real ale. No apologies for that!