Drinkers given pub ban take it up with UKIP

A GROUP of barred Chorley drinkers are to seek support from political party UKIP.

The eight men have been banned from Wetherspoon’s in the town after a dispute with management over drinking up time.

One of them, Tommy Shorrock, stood as a UKIP candidate in Chorley at the last election.

UKIP describes itself as “the political party of the pub”, launching a “Save the Pub” campaign.

Mr Shorrock, 64, of Arley Street, Chorley, said: “I’ve mentioned it to UKIP – I’ll be taking it up with them.”

The barred drinkers, aged 21 to 65, got their marching orders from the Sir Henry Tate on January 20, when the dispute came to a head.

They met regularly at the pub on Sunday nights for a drink.

But on this occasion, there was a disagreement over drinking up time and use of the toilet involving one of the party who is disabled.

Wetherspoon’s said there is no way back for them – confirmed in a letter from the popular pub chain.

Mr Shorrock said: “I’ve got another letter from Wetherspoon’s, I’ve had two letters.

“The one that came on Thursday stated the hours it’s open. Sunday, they’ve not put on, but everybody has to leave by 12.20pm. In other words, they are giving 20 minutes drinking up time. In that time you’ve got to use the toilet and be out.”

He explained: “The manageress asked for our glasses at 12.10am and demanded we leave the premises at 12.20am. We believe an insufficient and unreasonable timescale was imposed upon us.”

Mr Shorrock, who wrote a letter of complaint to the company, said the pub’s customer services department told him in a phone call that a reasonable drinking up time was 30 to 40 minutes.

Wetherspoon’ s replied, saying: “Following on from your behaviour on your visit to the pub, we have been advised by the manager that they do not wish you to return. The manager is responsible for the pub and its licence and it is not a requirement that a reason for barring you from the premises is provided.”

Mr Shorrock said he was “disgusted” at the way they had been treated. “They have a licence till 2am on Sunday and there’s no law about drinking up time, I’ve checked with Chorley licensing office. That’s their (Wetherspoon’s) terms.” Company spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We back the decision of the management.”

Mick Clark, communications officer for the Central Lancashire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: “We must express our concern, particularly about the treatment of disabled people.”