John Holland, a well known and much loved CAMRA member sadly died on 13th July. After a number of months of ill health, John appeared to be bouncing-back, he was once again attending CAMRA meetings and events, he had planned future trips and holidays, so the news was somewhat unexpected.
When John joined CAMRA it was almost impossible to drink real ale on Tyneside. When celebrating a birthday with friends in the late 1970s, he had to resort to drinking glasses of Madeira in a wine bar, ‘miserable’ is how he described the situation.
John had been a stalwart of the Tyneside & Northumberland branch of CAMRA since the late 1970s. In the 1980s he was branch chair, before becoming the regional director for the north east. In 1998 he was elected to the National Executive of CAMRA, which essentially meant that he was a company director of the Campaign for Real Ale.
After stepping down from the National Executive in 2007, John continued chairing the clubs committee and was on several other national committees.
CAMRA and real ale was John’s life, he didn’t have other hobbies, pastimes, sports or interests distracting him from campaigning for real ale, pubs and clubs.
John’s funeral was attended by a large contingent of local, regional and national CAMRA members.
John was great company, he enjoyed lively conversation and banter. He will be missed as a campaigner and friend.
The branch is planning to remember John with a Gateshead pub crawl, timed to coincide with his birthday in October.