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					               BLOWTOURS (ISLE OF MAN)
    April 2010 visit in conjunction with CAMRA AGM & members weekend




   A Manx Electric Railway service bound for Ramsey passes the famous Mines Tavern at Laxey station, May 2009

Greetings,
2010 will be the 19th year of our annual Springtime jaunt to the Isle of Man, and for the first time
the island will be hosting the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) AGM and members weekend, so our
visit is deliberately timed to co-incide with this major gathering. The CAMRA event itself will be
over the weekend of Friday 16th to Sunday 18th April, but as usual I am proposing that our visit will
cover an `extended weekend`, in this instance Thursday 15th to Tuesday 20th April (5 nights).
I recognise that some people will want to arrive or depart on different days. This is easily
accommodated, and your requirements should be shown on the attached booking form.
Many CAMRA members will be familiar with the format of the AGM & Members Weekend. The
formal proceedings are, of course, very important, but the social side, incorporating a members
beer festival, organised brewery visits and pub crawls, plus the inevitable `networking` is equally
significant. Blowtours regulars need no further introduction to the delights of the island, so I think
all will agree that the combination of superb Manx-brewed ales (at cheap prices!), varied pubs,
the unique Victorian railways, efficient bus services, complex Manx heritage, old-fashioned towns
and villages, and all this set amid the gloriously varied Manx scenery makes for a heady mix!

Our Blowtours visit in May this year revealed that many Manx people – especially publicans – are
aware that the CAMRA event is taking place in 2010, and are preparing for a significant influx of
ale-loving visitors! As usual, I have reserved accommodation (B&B) at the `Falcons Nest` hotel
overlooking Port Erin Bay, and a mere 200 yards from the Steam Railway station.
For those who don`t know, the `Falcons Nest` is one of the foremost real ale pubs on the Island,
and is also just a few minutes walk to the `Bay Hotel`, the prominent Bushey`s Brewery traditional
pub on the seafront. The Falcons Nest provides comfortable en-suite accommodation, and in
addition to about 5 real ales, good quality lunches and evening meals are available.

Please note that our allocation of single rooms have now all been taken. Twin or double only .
Although the CAMRA event is being held in Douglas, much of the hotel accommodation in Douglas
is not convenient for the better pubs, and Port Erin is only about an hour by bus or train from
Douglas, with several recommended `watering holes` en route (see `special trips` below).
With regard to travel to & from the Island, most – but not all – flights from the UK are operated by
FlyBe (who tend to be the cheapest), As usual with air fares, the earlier the booking is made, the
greater the discount available. Ferry services from Liverpool and Heysham are provided by the
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. I recommend the minority of people who wish to come over
by sea should book their own ticket with the Steam Packet Co.

SPECIAL TRIPS
Unless you choose otherwise, all participants will receive a 3 or 7 day `Island Explorer` rover
ticket valid on the trains, trams and buses, as part of the Blowtours package. However, the Manx
Electric Railway and the Steam Railway cease running in the late afternoon. I know many people
would enjoy an evening `special trip`, so I have received quotes from IoM Railways for the
following charter trains (timings are approximate) :
Friday 16th April
Special Manx Electric Railway service (including Winter Saloon trailer)
Douglas (Derby Castle)             15.30
South Cape                         15.55 (for the Old Laxey Brewery pub – the Shore Hotel)
Laxey                              16.00-17.30
Ramsey                             18.15
Ramsey                             20.30
Laxey                              21.10-21.15
Douglas (Derby Castle)             21.45

Saturday 17th April
Special Steam Railway service (suitable as a `get you home` after the AGM proceedings for those
staying in Castletown or Port Erin)
Douglas                            18.00
Castletown                         18.30-20.10 (The Sidings – the Island`s foremost real ale pub – is
                                               right outside the station)
Port Erin                          20.30
Port Erin                          21.50
Castletown                         22.10-22.15
Douglas                            22.45
These special trains will be will be at an additional cost, and will be open to everyone; not just our
group. I would be looking for as many as possible to book in advance, but `pay-on-day` will also be
available. The fare will be around £10 return (singles available) which is in line with the public
fare.

For the keen railway enthusiast & photographers, I am planning to run a couple of `photocharters`
on the steam railway on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning until about 14.00 (15th & 16th).
These will only run if sufficient people book in advance. The cost will be £65 per head, but
includes travel on the two public charters mentioned above at no additional charge. Separate
details are available for these operations upon request.

There is no doubt that accommodation in the island will be in great demand over this particular
weekend, hence it is a good idea to book sooner rather than later. With the fluctuation of air fares
and fuel surcharges etc, total cost is difficult to predict at present, and each participant`s tariff
will obviously be calculated individually. However, as a guide, and based on this years trip, I
estimate the cost for 5 nights B&B, plus flights from London or Birmingham, plus 7 day travelcard
(but not including the proposed special trains) will be about £380.
Places are limited, so to reserve your accomodation on this trip please complete the attached
booking form and send with a deposit cheque for £200 (made payable to “Blowtours”) to my
address as shown. This amount will cover your air-fare and £50 deposit for the hotel. The residue
will be put towards your balance which will be due in Jan/Feb.

Regards

Paul Blowfield (CAMRA member and former Chairman of South West Surrey branch)
                  BLOWTOURS (ISLE OF MAN)
      April 2010 visit in conjunction with CAMRA AGM & members weekend
                                             BOOKING FORM
Please complete this form on-line and e-mail to paul.milepost31@yahoo.co.uk
OR
Print off and send completed form to Blowtours, c/o 88 Merrow Woods, Merrow,
Guildford, Surrey GU1 2LN. Deposit cheques also to this address.

Note : those intending to attend the CAMRA AGM proceedings should register through
the appropriate CAMRA channels

Name(s) …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Address …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

e-mail ……………………………………………………                                                 Tel …………………………………….

I/we intend to arrive on              10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 April 2010
                                      circle / delete as applicable
I/we intend to depart on              18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 April 2010
                                      circle / delete as applicable

I/we require a Twin / Double room (Bed & Breakfast)                              circle / delete as applicable
Note : single rooms are now fully booked

Flights
I/we wish to fly from   Gatwick / London City / Southampton / Birmingham / Liverpool
                        circle / delete as applicable
Other (please state) ……………………………………..
Note : Unless requested otherwise, I will arrange bookings on flights departing UK mid-morning and arriving back late
afternoon / early evening, subject to availability. If you require different timings (i.e. fly out late afternoon after work)
please state in `remarks` at the end of this booking form.

I/we require accommodation only and will make travel arrangements separately.
delete if not applicable

Travel in the Island
I/we would like an Island Explorer Travel Card                              3 day / 7 day / None
                                                                            circle / delete as applicable

I/we would be interested in travelling on the Manx Electric Railway charter on Friday 16th
April                      Yes / No circle / delete as applicable

I/we would be interested in travelling on the Steam Railway charter on Saturday 17th April
                           Yes / No circle / delete as applicable

I/we would be interested in participating in the Steam Railway photocharters on 15th and
16th April                 Yes / No circle / delete as applicable

Remarks
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
                    - END -

				
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