Tuesday, 19 January 2016

BRAPA - AGM 2016

7:30pm on Monday 18th January 2016 and the 'shareholders' (a selection of the aristocracy - mostly Lords -  and the host, that's me) gathered for the second annual BRAPA Annual General Meeting as views were aired in a bid to improve the overall experience of the British Real Ale Pub Adventure in 2016.

Food and drink was an offer - no beer or meat, we're not animals!  Instead a civilised 2009 Rioja was served up along with a selection of cheese, crackers, chutney, olives and tomatoes whilst 4 episodes of "The Thick of It" were watched back to back to get everybody in an argumentative mood.

Here are the minutes of the meeting.


Colonel Albert Fluffikins was the only notable absentee, no one can forget last year's AGM where he single handedly ensured proceedings finished only 10 minutes in after scratching all the furniture and demanded to be fed and played with.  He was actually banned this year from attending.

Colonel Albert Fluffikins - making a nuisance of himself at the AGM (Jan 2015)
Lego Green Owl

Simon's attempt at an Orwellian "Moon Under Water" worked out better than expected with the 'Green Owl' blog.  It is now to be taken a step further as a virtual Green Owl is going to be built .... out of Lego!  Simon warned that it would be a somewhat abstract interpretation but photos will be posted on Twitter once complete, and it was a "therapeutic" exercise.  Lord Dawkins humourously noted that Tom would be upset there will be no lego Rachel or Emily.

Congratulations in Order!

It's been a great month for BRAPA with East Yorkshire (for a second time), West Yorkshire and Bedfordshire now all completed.  Not much thought has gone into it but Walters in Hull, Three Pigeons in Halifax and the Black Lion in Leighton Buzzard were all given special BRAPA lifetime achievement awards.

What's Next?

Lord Wagstaff stood up and demanded to know what direction BRAPA was taking next with these counties done.  Simon confirmed both Berkshire will be the main focus starting in mid Feb but there would be trips to London,  Lancs, Great Manchester, West Midlands and the North East to come in the next few months.  He also declared that North Yorkshire was going better than expected even if progress seemed to be painfully slow.  Lord Marley sneered at this.

Operation Pizza Cutter

Lord Chilton hushed the assembled party by mentioning the top secret strategy initiative "Operation Pizza Cutter".  Simon was flustered momentarily, but regained his composure to state that no official announcement would be made until June when all the key parties had been consulted, but no one should be concerned or even mention it again as changes would be minimal!  Simon also took this point to remind all members to re-read the CODE OF CONDUCT regarding strategy. 


Lord Hernandez thought the Challenge should be renamed GreatBritish Real Ale Pub Adventure and all branding changed to GRAPA.  He was told to stop being stupid and sent out of the room to think about his actions.

Midweek BRAPA

Lord Albion-Albion-Albion asked in a timid manner that now West Yorkshire was finished, would Tuesday night BRAPA continue?  To much applause, Simon announced yes and from mid-late Feb, South Yorkshire would be the focus starting in Armthorpe, which is near Doncaster.  Until then, there are three viable North Yorkshire nights to complete - tomorrow, Wed 27th Jan and Tues 2nd Feb. 

 Nitwit Card

Lord Fauntleroy remembered that March might be a good month for Simon to start applying for his "Nitwit" National Rail card with April trips to Berkshire not yet booked but imminent, as it will help with local train travel discounts, Tom is likely to advise further.  The Feb and March trips are booked.

BRAPA Spring Beezer

Yes, the first big away trip of 2016 is due in April with at least three overnight stops combined with Hull City's trip to Reading.  Has anyone been on holiday to Reading before? asked Lord McShane.  This question caused much mirth from the assembled crowd.  Newbury and even Swindon might be better areas to be situated for some of the time, but this could be a great opportunity to get a lot of Berkshire done.

BRAPA Music Playlist

Another blog that Si thought was rubbish but created some interest was his BRAPA music selection, so much so that he is currently working on a plan to make it available to all in playlist form on something like iTunes or Amazon.  All we need is feedback.  Speaking of which, in a few Monday's time, the "difficult" second album track list will be reviewed on the blog.

BRAPA Clothing

In one of the less boring points on the agenda, Lord Bradford-Bury asked if there was any truth in the rumour that some BRAPA clothing would be released.  It is true!  2 t-shirts (one olive green, one TBA) one and a rather sexy red tank top, complete with great beery font.  Preview on Twitter tomorrow. 

Pub Logging

Just to bring the mood down, Lord Mark-Robins reminded all in a boring voice that since the "archives" have been completed, Simon was supposed to be logging every real ale pub he's visited past and present, with the date first visited.  He's got up to Essex so far, it is slow going though and he's been sidetracked by playing pool and watching Eastenders and reading Tudor novels.  Si commented "I have until September, Robins out!" 

Twitter and Whatpub

Lord McManamanaman thought Si should definitely check BRAPA pubs are open after recent 'scares' in Harpenden, Whitton and Greasborough.  Simon agreed he was foolish to overlook this.  Lord Fowler meanwhile thought Si should always check if a pub has a Twitter account so he can mention them when he Tweets like he did in Ikley's Flying Duck and the Bingley Arms to good effect.  Simon agreed he'd try and get into a routine but didn't see it as ultra pressing.

Facebook Return

Lord Tadcaster-Bridge said that whilst on the subject of social media, was it true Simon was considering a shock return to Facebook?  Si was a bit coy, saying if he did, it'd be as a "group" and he'd had quite a few people at work / family members etc who don't do Twitter and want to see what's going on, but are they perhaps just nosy?  It'll be considered. 

Some of the food on offer at 2016 AGM

It was knocking on 10pm, much wine had been drunk, and the Lords went to fetch their Ladies from the "female friendly" gastropub next door.  Until next January, keep BRAPping.  

Lord Simon Esq.  


  1. Wine ? Posh gits, knew it.

    For reference, Mrs RM and I had a holiday in Reading last year. It has quick trains to Newbury (3 pubs), Wokingham (also 3) and Swindon (8, unbelievably) as well as it's own. Also has 2 "desserts parlours" which are worth the calories. It would also make you feel good about Grimsby if you lived there.

    On the other hand Swindon has the advantage of quick trains to Swindon and Bath which could bolster BRAPA by 5% in a weekend.

    My friend says you have a nice cat. Pub Curmudgeon would approve.

  2. Please may I submit my delayed apologies and instead of my attendance in person, send this written submission.

    Will there be a lego John, Mary, Albert or most importantly Diddles? Not to forget all the locals? I can imagine you not wanting the challenge of recreating the lovely Emily and Rachel in lego in case of upsetting them, I'm sure they'd be touched by the efforts.

    I trust Lord Hernandez was reminded that Great Britain is the island on which we stand and hence renaming the challenge GRAPA would wrongly disqualify all pubs on other islands, such as the Isle of White. Unabel to think rationally, my lords.

    I don't know Armthorpe nearly as well as other nearby South Yorkshire places. I think it is the First Bus 81/82 Armthorpe Circular route, Donny Plus Bus will be valid. I may advise further.

    There may be some mileage in getting a Nitwit card earlier, maybe even now, to allow for things like Saturday's Travelcard and any remaining local tickets or Plus Bus for the already booked Berkshire day.

    There are various day ranger tickets you can make use of in the Thames Valley for the spring beezer, ask what you have in mind for your itinerary for the week and I may or may not manage to come up with a deal.

    Following Lord Bradford-Bury's query, will BRAPA clothing be issued to BRAPA volunteers and associates?

    Lord Mark Robins is right to be concerned. Whilst to some it appears harmless, I have heard of cases of addition to watching Eastenders. The best advice is to quit early, before it takes a stranglehold. An activity like pub logging would make a good activity to keep you from lapsing. I don't want the committee to have to call an emergency meeting to put you in rehab.

    Martin, I don't drink wine. I do eat cheese, last night selection was Knuckleduster and Quickes goats.

    I've been to Reading before. It doesn't feel nearly as bad as Grimsby. Maybe I'm underexposed to it, or overexposed to Grimsby.

    Where else do you have in mind for Swindon having direct trains? You've made a typo. I'd say Brizzle.

    1. Thank you Tom - Brizzle it was. Though I'm sure Swindon to Swindon has much to commend it.

      I'd contest Grimsby has more to do than Reading, unless you like women's clothing shops and characterless football grounds.

      Quickes is good - Newton St Cyres has a railway themed pub for you too.

    2. Thanks both, where do I get this fine unusual cheese from? Tom, a cheese blog might be another suggestion for you.

      Bertie the cat alas belongs to my sister but I cat sat for 2 months whilst she recovered from a broken ankle.

      Right Tom, in brief .... No Lego people at all / you weren't invited / thanks re Nitwit advice, will get onto it / un-Abel (good one) / Isle of White haha controv/ no fixed itenerary yet trying to go with flow / a day in Brizzle IS tempting / clothing has sold out / Eastenders is evil how it sucks you in and leaves you sad / Newton st Cyres is that Devon?

  3. I very rarely come into contact with good cheese these days. Said delicacies were purchased from the monthly Grimsby farmers market, third Friday of the month, when I was lucky enough to have finished work rediculously early. Knuckleduster is rarer than its other Lincolnshire Poacher cousins, I doubt you'd get it anywhere other than direct from the Poacher people. Quickes goats is fairly widely available, keep looking and you'll see it eventually. What is the cheese on your board that isn't Wensleydale with cranberries?

    Will there be a Lego cat?

    Do I have to become a member or some such to get in to the AGM?

    Newton St Cyres is in Devon, just north of Exeter. I take it the pub is the famed Beer Engine?

    Grimsby does have the Bradley playing fields, home of Cleethorpes Town FC. It is however more difficult to escape from than Reading, and you can't eat chips every day.

  4. This AGM must be the hottest ticket in town. What a guest list. I met that Lord McManamanamanam once. He kept going round in circles and falling over when his hair got in his eyes. That red wine looks like it has permanently stained the glass. Strong stuff. Congrats to BRAPA and all who sail in her. An exciting year ahead for you all.

    1. Thanks Dad, yes plenty more pubs to visit in 2016 and I'm sure you will be an integral part. Think pizza cutters!