It’s all change at the helm of the Royal Oak, in Prospect Road, Tunbridge Wells. As I write, current leaseholder and licensee Yvonne Blanche, is off to pastures new and stepping into her shoes is a company called Oak Craft Beer Co. The latter is a joint venture between Adrian Collacott, formerly of the Saint John's Yard pub, and Craig Beeson, chairman of West Kent CAMRA.
The pub’s new owners have exciting plans for their customers and aim to build on the foundations laid down by Yvonne. They released a short statement saying, “they would be focusing on the local community with live music, festivals and themed events. The range of products will also be extended to include a diverse mix of different beers and spirits working, wherever possible, with local suppliers".
|West Kent CAMRA Christmas 2014|
This is a time of change, not just for the Royal Oak and its customers, but for West Kent CAMRA as well and, like many branch members, whilst I am obviously pleased at the news, I am saddened at the prospect of losing our new branch chairman. Craig only stepped into the role at last November’s AGM, when there was a real threat to the survival of the branch.
I wrote a post about the dangers posed by a lack of active members and the advancing age of those of us who do still play a role within the branch. With two sons in their early twenties, both of whom have a keen interest in all things beer, Craig seemed the ideal person to be taking the branch forward, and he was actively pursuing a number of different avenues to try and get people more involved.
|Photo - courtesy of WhatPub|
The Royal Oak is a traditional pub which dates back to 1735. It is situated on the busy crossroads of Prospect Road, Pembury Road, Bayhall Road and Calverley Road, and as well as offering a friendly welcome, the pub is home to a number of clubs and societies. It is well worth making the 10-15 minutes walk from the town centre, in order to experience it yourself.