CAMRA's next step is a second tier of Inventories, each covering a region. The focus is still on interiors which are authentically old but the rules of absolute intactness are relaxed; regional inventory pubs are either largely unchanged in their layout and fittings or contain particular features of outstanding quality within a more radically altered setting.

The first regional inventory, for London, was published last year and the second, for East Anglia, has just emerged. This describes the mere 90 pubs (out of 6000) which qualify for inclusion, a sad reflection on the degree of alteration, usually for the worse, which has afflicted our pubs in recent years. Nonetheless, some absolute gems still survive and the inventory provides descriptions of those interiors and why they are so important.

The Champion of the Thames
<- The Champion of the Thames
Cambridgeshire has just 10 entries, of which four are in the Cambridge Branch area - The Champion of the Thames Cambridge, The Blue Ball Granchester, The Plough & Fleece Horningsea and The Queens Head Newton.
The Blue Ball Inn
<- The Blue Ball Inn

Elsewhere, the entries range from diminutive basic country locals (The Rose and Crown, Trowley Bottom, Herts), and back-street urban equivalents (The Hand and Heart Peterborough) to impressive coaching inns like The Scole Inn Norfolk. We have the Victorian and Edwardian, the inter-war "improved public house", the art-deco extravaganza and a few post-war examples as well (unchanged interiors from the fifties and sixties are becoming increasingly rare).

If pubs interest you as buildings and not just outlets for ale then the inventory will guide you towards the cream of our surviving pub heritage. The booklet is enhanced significantly by Mick Slaughter's wonderfully evocative colour photos.

The inventory costs £3.50 plus £1 post and packing. You can order on-line from the CAMRA website or by phoning CAMRA HQ (01727 867201, then press 2 on the menu). Why not buy copies of the National Inventory and the London Inventory at the same time?