Premises ‘rescued’ by punters named CAMRA’s Pub of the Month

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The Victoria Hotel, St Annes has been selected as Pub of the Season by members of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch of the Campaign for Reral Ale (CAMRA).

Four years ago, its parent pub company tried to sell The Vic to a property developer, so it could be replaced with flats.

However, a group of local activists formed the Victoria Hotel Community Association and sprung into action.

Against all the odds, the VHCA triumphed, and went on to organise all manner of fund-raising, live music and social activities to breathe new life into the reprieved pub.

Their efforts paid off, as the pub company invested £300,000 in a refurbishment of the venue.

A spokesman for CAMRA said it was probably the most significant investment in the place since it was first built back in 1897 and that the work had transformed it – inside and out – providing much better catering and, above all, more high-quality real ales.

The latter caught the attention of CAMRA, who felt it was time that all this good work was properly recognised.

The award was presented to manager Jordan Sadler by Pubs Officer Rick Pickup, who paid tribute to all that had been achieved.

He said: “The beer range and quality are really good.

“After all the dangers of the recent past, the pub is refurbished and refreshed.

“We are planning to put some hand pumps into the vaults and introduce ‘real’ lagers.

“Things are going well and we can maybe even think now of challenging the likes of (Lytham pub) The Taps.”

VHCA founder members Bruce and Caroline Goodridge were also present and said they were thrilled.

It was equally appropriate that the presentation should be made in the re-opened vaults.

Jordan says the snooker room is back in full swing as well, which seems so reminiscent of the heyday of pub snooker on the Fylde.