April is half done with and it was only yesterday, when I picked up a tatty flyer at one of my many locals, that I realised that it's Community Pubs Month. This is, of course, shameful. As a professional observer of the pub industry and someone who's constantly in and out of community pubs for one reason or another you'd think I'd have noticed something sooner.
According the Campaign for Real Ale, the organisation behind the idea, 5,500 pubs – more than one in 10 - have signed up for the initiative, designed to encourage pubs to stage special events to bring people through the doors.
So I went onto the Community Pubs Month website and searched my postcode, as suggested. In fact I searched all three postcodes for Brighton & Hove, a city with a population of some 300,000 and loads of pubs. But nothing came up.
On a whim I searched 'Brighton' and, hey presto, I found three participating pubs. Only one of them listed an event, though, and that was a regular quiz night. I searched 'Hove', too, and got one result, although that turned out to be a place called the Malt Shovels in Altrincham.
I also searched the name of the pub where I found the leaflet. Oddly, it wasn't there. Then I noticed that Community Pubs Month publicity packs had been sent out to all the pubs in the 2012 Good Beer Guide. There are a few thousand of those and I imagine they're included in the 5,500.
There's also a pub listed called Angela Douglas, which turns out to be not a pub but a person whose entry is a request for packs for her Camra branch.
I realise this kind of thing is easily done. I worked on a local paper that ran a National Union of Journalists circular, verbatim, as a news story after it got picked up in a pile of copy.
Still, apart from the occasional flyer, it makes you wonder whether Community Pubs Month has any real content in terms of pubs throwing themselves into the celebration. Neither has it seemed to have caught the imagination of the political class. Only 36 MPs have signed the Early Day Motion supporting it.
Of course, none of this is necessarily important. The initiative has succeeded in attracting a fair amount of coverage, especially in local press, about the plight of the pub and raised the need for people to get out and support it.
And my hunch is that any community pub worth a visit will be already working hard, week in, week out, to keep people amused, whether or not it's April.