FRED BAKER has been the editor of local CAMRA magazine The Alesman for 23 years.

The Alesman is a quarterly magazine in A5 format produced by the Keighley and Craven branch of CAMRA.

The branch publishes 3,300 copies of each edition, and although there are no set publication dates, it is usually printed every March, June, September and December.

The magazine covers national issues relating to pubs, real ale, cider and perry.

There is also a regular article from the branch chairman featuring pubs or clubs selling local ale, known as ‘LocAle’, and news of other local pub, beer and beer festivals.

Fred said: “Volunteer CAMRA members aim to take Alesman to every pub, and some clubs, in the area. We also deliver it to Keighley Library and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway buffet car.

“In some places copies of the magazine disappear as soon as they are delivered. If any venue runs out, we would welcome a request for more, and we’d replenish stocks if there are any spare.

“I often take spare copies to local beer festivals.”

Fred receives contributions for the magazine from local CAMRA members, although mainly members of the committee.

He said: “I would welcome news/articles/letters from members of the public and other interested parties.”

Fred is assisted by David Boyle, nicknamed Ruggie, who proof-reads the magazine, as well as creating the contributing articles. He has devised the crossword ever since the first edition.

Fred said: “I always check the crossword by doing it without the answers which serves as a good test, as well as keeping the old grey matter exercised!”

The Alesman is more or less self-financed by the advertisements, and any shortfall would be covered by CAMRA.

Most of the advertisers are pubs and breweries, but other businesses are not excluded so long as they or their adverts are not contrary to CAMRA aims.

A quarter-page monochrome advert in one edition starts at £19, while a full page colour advert costs £429 for one year.

Anyone interested in advertising should e-mail Fred at for more details.

The first edition of The Alesman, edited by David Boyle, was published in summer 1986 primarily to promote the first Keighley Beer Festival in September that year.

Fred said that even in this electronic age, most branches of CAMRA around the country had similar publications.

He added: “CAMRA presents an award annually to the one they judge the best – I’m still waiting!

“Bradford branch produces Tyke Taverner, which is often to be found in the Brown Cow, Keighley, amongst other venues in the area.”

Have you missed any previous Down The Pub articles prepared by the Keighley and Craven branch of the Campaign for Real Ale?

In previous months CAMRA has highlighted the challenges facing pubs across the country as they struggle to stay open, and showcased the best hostelries in the Keighley area.

All these articles can all be accessed via the website. Click What’s at On the top of the home page, Food & Drink and Down The Pub.