Beer group celebrates 10th birthday

Anne and Martin Cox display all the events they have put on throughout BAGs 10 year history.

Anne and Martin Cox display all the events they have put on throughout BAGs 10 year history. - Credit: Archant

Members of Beer Arts Group (BAGs) celebrated a ‘busy’ 10 years with a special birthday dinner.

The ‘umbrella’ organisation was first started by friends Sam Carling, Jane Gradwell and Martin and Anne Cox as an ‘excuse’ to go to the pub.

Since 2006, the group has branched out to run its own arts group, book club and film society.

Barline resident Anne said: “We had just finished being in Beer panto and we needed an excuse to go down to the pub and have a good laugh.

“It [BAGs] is mainly made up of those who moved to the village. I think there are many ways of becoming a member of the community and this is one of them. They feel like they belong and they can turn up.”

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Martin and Anne enjoy going to the theatre and felt the village needed its own way for residents to express their love of culture.

Retired nuclear scientist Martin said: “BAGs is about having fun and expressing yourself and enjoying the arts. Over 10 years, we have done an awful lot of stuff.”

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Members marked the occasion with a three-course meal at Steamers Restaurant yesterday (Thursday), where Beer Film Society hosts its monthly film screenings.

The group began with a number of large events to start financing Beer Film Society, which now runs independently of BAGs, to help buy equipment and pay for licencing costs.

Martin said: “We had no capital and, when you are organising films, it costs £120 for licencing - and that was a big step for us.”

The not-for-profit organisation has a small pot of cash to allow members to organise trips out and events without incurring costs themselves.

Martin added: “We have little trips out - once-a-year we go to the Royal Court and go for the day.”

The group is always looking for new blood for its committees, to allow older members to step down from duties. Email

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