Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Grandad banned from Cumbrian pub after writing to complain

A grandfather has been barred from a Workington pub after writing to complain about the “poor service” he received there.

Kenny Wallace photo
Kenny Wallace outside the Henry Bessemer pub

Former Workington Reds player Kenny Wallace, 60, has been given no explanation as to why he is no longer welcome at the Henry Bessemer.

JD Wetherspoon, which runs the Oxford Street pub, has also told him that it does not have to provide one.

Mr Wallace, of James Street, had been out with friends on a Saturday night in late January when he had difficulty getting served and wrote to complain about it.

In a letter earlier this month, he was told by Sophie Jennings of JD Wetherspoon that: “We have been advised by the manager that they do not wish you to return to the pub. We are unwilling to overturn the decision made by the management at our pubs.

“The manager is responsible for the pub and its license and it is not a requirement of that licence that a reason for barring you from the premises is provided.”

Mr Wallace estimated that he had waited at the bar for at least 10 minutes while several later-comers were served first. After reporting the issue to bar staff, he was told that if he did not stop complaining he would not be served at all.

Mr Wallace was not asked to leave the pub at the time but only learned of the decision after he put his grievances in writing.

The senior welding inspector at Sellafield said: “I have never been barred from a pub in my life.

“I had had two pints, but I wasn’t drunk.

“If I had gone in swearing and carrying on I wouldn’t have bothered writing to them. Everybody who was there can’t believe it.”

His wife Pat, 64, who was also on the night out, said: “You would think he was a 23-year-old yob who had been fighting, not a 60-year-old man. To me the customer is always right.”

The News & Star approached JD Wetherspoon to ask the company for an explanation.

Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for the Wetherspoon, said: “We would fully back any decision made by our managers.”

He suggested that if Mr Wallace wished to return to the pub he could approach the manager in about six months to apologise.

The former fullback was in the last Workington Reds squad to play in the Football League.


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