Pub bans 70 year-old for bad behaviour

A 70-year-old Navy radio operator, a former Met police information officer and a mental health nurse today said they had been banned from a Norfolk pub - because they were too noisy.

A 70-year-old Navy radio operator, a former Met police information officer and a mental health nurse today said they had been banned from a Norfolk pub - because they were too noisy.

The group of four men and two women were banned by Richard Farrow, the landlord of the Rising Sun in Coltishall, last week.

One of the customers, grandfather-of-two Bob Livock, 70, a former Royal Naval radio operator, said he had been drinking in the pub for about 50 years and was astonished when he was told he was no longer allowed in.

Mr Farrow said today that every landlord had a right to serve or not serve customers and claimed the dispute all boiled down to a difference of opinion over what constituted bad behaviour.

The friction came to a head when the group was gathered around the pub's pool table last week.

Mr Livock, from Glebe Way, Horstead, said: "We were playing pool, and I was sitting near them enjoying a quiet pint.

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"When I was outside having a cigar, the bargirl came through and told them to shush, like we were kids. Then the landlady came over and told us to be quiet because there were other customers in the bar. I just asked, 'Is this a pub or a library?'

"But there was no swearing and we moved off. The next day the bar lady rang to say we were now barred from the pub. To my knowledge, it's for no good reason."

Mr Livock said the group visited the pub on Tuesdays and Fridays but would now go elsewhere.

Another of the banned customers, Martin Penney, 50, a former Met police information officer, from Church Street, Coltishall, said the group felt like "schoolchildren who had been ticked off for something we had not done".

He said: "We were told to be quiet when we are not remotely excessively noisy. We have never upset anybody else in this pub.

"I have worked in and around the licensed trade for over 30 years, as has my partner. Neither of us has ever been asked to leave a pub because of our behaviour."

The group also comprises John Barker, 44, maintenance officer at John Groom's Court care home in Norwich, mental health nurse Steve West, 54, his girlfriend Jeanette, 44, an ex-prison officer, who now works for Norwich Union, and Mr Penney's partner, Sue, 52. Mr Farrow, 44, who has run the pub with partner Sally Swann, 52, since July 2006, did not wish to comment on the type of behaviour he found worthy of a ban, but said: "It's the right of every landlord in the country to serve or not serve customers.

"Local people are obviously more than welcome in the Rising Sun, but we expect certain standards from them while they are in the pub.

"It's a difference of opinion of what is and is not bad behaviour."

In 2003 the Maid Marian in Norwich hit the headlines when it banned a group of elderly people from eating meals in the pub. The landlord claimed they were taking too long to finish their food.