150 Issues of InnSpire Magazine

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INNSPIRE MAGAZINE IS 150! Whoop, whoop. A great achievement, I’m sure you agree, for the many Editors and contributors over the years. The magazine herself would like to point out that she’s 150 issues not 150 years old. In reality, InnSpire was first launched in May 1996 meaning the magazine is just over 27. If we were to travel back in time to the year 1996 you’d find me watching the classic movie Independence Day in Skegvegas on my first holiday without my parents. Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales got divorced, BM’s Deep Blue the supercomputer defeated chess Champion Gary Kasparov and Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be successfully cloned. Fun times indeed.

Back to InnSpire Issue 1 and while we couldn’t find a digital or physical copy of the magazine, we did find Issue 50 on-line, which runs briefly through the first 49 issues.

STORIES THAT FEATURED IN THE FIRST ISSUE INCLUDED:

The Royal Oak at Millthorpe under the threat of closure (The good news is the pub is still open to this day), Townes GMT wins Mansfield Beer of the Festival, The Derby Tup at Whittingham Moor was voted Pub of the Year and the White Hart of Eckington was voted Pub of the Month (The Pub of the Month award has since been replaced by Pub of the Season).

As the years and Issues flow by, it’s interesting to note how the magazine documents the changing face of Chesterfield’s pubs. Businesses’ are lost to time or reborn to become new Chesterfield institutions. 

BRIEF HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

November 1996 – Issue 4: Tom Cobleigh announces a pub/restaurant on Sheffield Road, Whittingham Moor – The Donkey Derby.

June 1997 – Issue 7: The Queens Park Hotel in Chesterfield closes on the 30th April and is demolished 10 days later.

October 1998 – Issue 15: The first Beer Festival at the now regular venue of the Winding Wheel is announced (And, still going strong).

December 1998 – Issue 16: The Speedwell at Staveley opens it’s doors as a brew pub.

June 1999 – Issue 19: Kelham Island Brewery and Visitors Centre opens.

June 2000 – Issue 25: Wetherspoons buy the Portland Hotel.

February 2002 – Issue 35: Chesterfield CAMRA celebrates 25 years as an independent branch.

June 2023 – Issue 43: Madonna confesses her love of Real Ale.

February 2004 – Issue 47: Smoke free pubs – It could happen.

June 2004 – Issue 49: The Old Red at Ashover becomes Old Poets’ Corner.

It’s a fascinating insight into the past. I’m sure we’d all like to pop back in time, for a few days at least, to grab a last pint in the Chesterfield Hotel or another lost pub like the Green Room, which now just memories and dust. Not that we don’t have many wonderful pubs today here in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas. It would be interesting to hear what the original magazine Editor and writers, think about Chesterfield CAMRA and the changes over the years. Here now, in the present, the current InnSpire team look upon themselves as patrons of the magazine. Taking our turn to guide the magazine into the future.

With the magazine set to be quarterly and not monthly, we’ll not get to Issue 300 until about 40 years time. We’d like to sign off, by thanking you dear reader. Whether you’re a new reader or have been with us from the very beginning. With thousands if not millions of words written and read. With so, so many pints drank and spilled onto our pages. We can all be proud of reaching a landmark of 150 issues of the world’s greatest magazine. (About Real Ale in Chesterfield).

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN INNSPIRE MAGAZINE.

AUTHOR/INTERVIEW: CHRIS FOX