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Pubs thrive in competition

PUBLISHED: 19:36 07 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:09 03 March 2010

REPORTS that British pubs are in decline have been greatly exaggerated, according to Pub of the Year judge Stuart Bowell.

Stuart, who is chairman of the Ipswich and East Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is one of the Evening Star's select panel of judges who will reveal Suffolk's Pub of the Year in just 11 days.

REPORTS that British pubs are in decline have been greatly exaggerated, according to Pub of the Year judge Stuart Bowell.

Stuart, who is chairman of the Ipswich and East Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is one of the Evening Star's select panel of judges who will reveal Suffolk's Pub of the Year in just 11 days.

Stuart is one of a dozen judges who, since July, have visited all 100 of the pubs we originally short-listed as we began our search.

And he said that since he's been looking at Suffolk's pubs in a new light, he insists they are something we should be proud of.

He said: "It's been a very good standard. There wasn't a pub I went in that served a bad pint.

"The standard of food was also pleasing and offered good value for money."

Stuart said he was also very impressed that the pubs he visited fitted in well with the categories they were nominated in.

"That's a credit to the Evening Star readers who initially nominated them. They did a good job of applying each pub to the correct section of the competition."

The final night of the Evening Star Pub of the Year 2002 is being held on Wednesday December 18 at the Odeon cinema in Ipswich.

All 12 section winners, including Best Ipswich Pub and Best Real Ale Pub will be announced, along with the overall winner of Pub of the Year.

Stuart said: "The 27 pubs which are left reflects admirably on the quality of the competition.

"But there were many excellent pubs which were not nominated, which is an incentive for people to make sure they speak up for their local pub next year."

n Stick with the Star for all the results from the big night on Thursday December 19.

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