CHALFORD Sports & Social Club has scooped the title of Stroud Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Club of the Year—the first ever club in the area to do so.

A celebration, with the presentation of a certificate commemorating the achievement, took place on Sunday.

Tim Mars of Stroud CAMRA explained what it was about the club that had impressed the group’s members.

He said: “The club is the sporting and social hub of Chalford, with around 500 members who pay £15 a year.

“It offers a wide variety of social and sporting opportunities, from craft clubs to skittles, fitness classes to sport on TV.

“It is a warm and welcoming place, very family orientated and where children are always welcome.”

Tim added: “The club is justifiably proud of its sporting prowess. It hosts four men’s football teams, with the first team currently sitting pretty in the Northern Senior League. Two cricket sides play out of Chalford, with the first team playing in Stroud Division 2 and the second team currently playing in Stroud Division 4, as well as a pub cricket team.

“As if that were not enough, the club has no less than seven tennis teams, with their top players battling it out against the best in the area in the premier division. The club boasts five floodlit courts, including two synthetic clay ones.

“The clubhouse includes a main hall, big enough to accommodate 150 guests and is a popular choice for wedding receptions, parties, concerts and family events. It is also used for short mat bowls, with several sessions each week.

“But long-alley skittles is at the heart of the club, with eight teams, regular competitive and social events throughout the winter and a weekday league in summer.

“Ali Brady became manager in March 2018 and from that point on it was all change on the beer front. Her husband Rob runs the Good Beer Company, a real ale wholesaler supplying pubs and clubs around Stroud with beer.

“So in came the hand-pumps and on came the real ale.

“Rob is solely a volunteer at the club but takes care of beer ordering, line cleaning and also serves behind the bar.”