Mine's a pint, Nigel

IF you recognise this man in a pub from Sunday he will buy you a pint.No, 42-year-old Nigel Smith has not just won the lottery and is feeling generous with his winnings, but is trying to encourage residents to go to their community pub and sup some ale.

By Jo Macdonald

IF you recognise this man in a pub from Sunday he will buy you a pint.

No, 42-year-old Nigel Smith has not just won the lottery and is feeling generous with his winnings, but is trying to encourage residents to go to their community pub and sup some ale.

As part of the first national pubs week the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is raising awareness of the smaller village pubs struggling to stay afloat.


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But unlike the national campaign the Ipswich branch is going one step further and Mr Smith, an engineer, has decided to dig in to his own pocket and the campaign's budget to quench the thirst of pub goers.

Between Sunday, February 23 and Saturday, March 1 anyone spotting Mr Smith in a pub can approach him and say "You're Nigel Smith and I claim my free pint".

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Mr Smith said he thought the idea would be a 'bit of fun'.

"If people do recognise us," he said of himself and the drinking partners he will be taking with him to the 40 to 50 pubs in Suffolk, "if they have gone down to the pub, we are happy to fund that."

Mr Smith, of Back Hamlet, Ipswich, said that 90 community based pubs in Suffolk have closed in the last ten years.

"Some pubs cater only for diners or tend to be large town centre pubs and can be less personable."

A survey carried out by CAMRA has revealed that eight out of ten people like country pubs. Mr Smith said their campaign was to get those people out drinking in those pubs, which are slowly declining in number.

"Community based pubs tend to be near residential areas and serve the local community in that a lot of people will know each other, it becomes a good meeting point and a place to socialise with people," said Mr Smith.

The CAMRA Ipswich branch committee member, who has been a volunteer for 15 years, intends to cover a broad spectrum of pubs including those in Ipswich, Woodbridge, Stowmarket and their surrounding villages during his marathon of pub visits.

WEBLINK:

www.camra.org.uk

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