There’s a brewery in Tadcaster, Samuel Smith’s. It claims to be the oldest brewery in the UK, but I reckon it’s also in the running for being the most ridiculous brewery in the UK. In April, it issued an edict that swearing would no longer be tolerated in its tied houses.
This really is a dumb move. Swearing is the lingua franca in a proper pub. In my local, the Boar’s Head, the word ‘fuck’ is hardly noticed. It acts as punctuation rather than anything else. Nobody bats an eyelid. The dreaded ‘c’ word is banned, and its use leads to a summary fine of a quid in one of the charity boxes. Other than that, the coast is clear.
Not so in the Arlington Hotel in Loftus in Yorkshire. The landlord was outside, heard somebody swear, stormed in, told the barmaid not to serve any more drinks, and ordered the bemused clients to drink up and go home*.
This is a bit like the whole class being made to go and sit on the naughty step, isn’t it? However, things get worse. Such was the high state of his dudgeon, he didn’t open up again for three days. Three whole days. That’s a lot of lost revenue to make up because of fit of pique and a touch of a god complex.
If you pulled that stunt in the Boar’s, I know what would happen. We don’t like being treated like children (even if we occasionally act like them), so we’d just up sticks and vote with our feet. Possibly on a permanent basis.
I rather suspect that the other Smith’s pub in Loftus, the Golden Lion, made a bit of a killing over the three days the Arlington was closed. If you’d gone down there and all your mates were on parade, you’d not have a lot of incentive to go back to where you were chucked out of, would you? Not unless it’s a noticeably shorter distance to stagger home.
I can see this all ending in tears.
*I do wish he’d told them to bugger off. He’d have had to bar himself.