It will soon be time for us to choose which of the pubs and clubs in our branch area should hold the titles Pubs and Clubs for the year – our winners will then go forward to the North East Regional Pub and Club of the Year competitions.

Durham CAMRA has five categories for these awards: Town Pub of the Year, Country Pub of the Year, Club of the Year, Town Cider Pub of the Year and Country Cider Pub of the Year. Throughout 2015, the holders of these titles have been, respectively:-

Ye Old Elm Tree, Durham City
The Surtees Arms, Ferryhill Station
Chester-le-Street Cricket Club
The John Duck, Durham City, and
The Black Lion, Wolsingham

Ye Old Elm Tree went on to be voted runner-up in the regional completion and will be presented with its regional runner-up certificate on the evening of Tuesday 24th November – why not come along and join in the celebrations?

You can find a list of other recent winners at

We would like all of our branch members to have a say in who should get the awards in 2016 so we are extending this invitation to you all, in the first instance, to nominate what you consider to be Durham CAMRA’s best pubs (town and county), club and cider pubs (town and country), so that a short list can be drawn up for the final voting to select the winners.

There are no rigid criteria as to which establishments can be nominated other than they must be in our branch area and must serve real ale and, for cider pubs, there must be a commitment to provide real cider on a regular basis. You may, however, want to consider such things as atmosphere, decor, range and quality of ales/ciders, events held, customer service, community focus, etc. ‘Town’ to include Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street, Consett, Durham City, Ferryhill, Peterlee, Seaham, Sedgefield and Spennymoor.

So, if you have a favourite pub, club, or cider pub that you think deserves to have the title of Pub/Club of the Year, then please let us know by sending your nominations to by the end of December. If you have the time, please include the reasons why you think so. You can, of course, nominate in any or all of the five categories.

To make a nomination you must be CAMRA member from the Durham branch area - please include your membership number in the email.. This will be used for verification purposes only and your selections will not be disclosed.

To encourage members to submit nominations beer-related prizes will be awarded to three lucky members who take part, drawn at random after the closing date.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to receive your nomination(s) shortly,