I've been a member of CAMRA for four years - having attended their beer festivals for about ten years before that - but last night was the first time I'd been to a CAMRA meeting. So why did I finally join CAMRA and why did it take me four years to attend a meeting of my local branch, Stockport and South Manchester?
Unlike the stereotypical non-active CAMRA member who joins for the benefits of getting into beer festivals for free and discounts in Wetherspoons, I joined for two reasons: the role CAMRA had played in the early 1970's in saving cask beer and more importantly the work it was doing now to save pubs, improve beer quality etc. That I didn't turn up at a CAMRA meeting for four years is due to inertia and being involved with other organisations and societies. It was through blogging that I got to know more about what CAMRA was doing locally and decided I should get involved.
I'm not promising to become a super-active CAMRA member, but I am planning to attend more meetings and events of my branch and lend a hand where I can.