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BITE user profile - jayhirst

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Username: jayhirst

Age: 64

Sex: ?

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The Tap and Spile, Whitby

When in Whitby this is one of the pubs i have always made sure to visit for good reason. It's in the good beer guide and has live music. Both passions of mine.Sadly my last visit there coincided with the landlady's birthday party. Let me explain what happened and why it will be the last time I frequent this establishment.

My wife and I called in at about 9.45pm last Thursday evening(6th July) We had just arrived in Whitby and were happy to have a couple of relaxing drinks before getting a much needed good nights sleep. We had a couple of beers in relatively quiet surroundings. The beer was fine and the atmosphere was relaxed. There were only about 7/8 people in the lounge at the time. At about 10.30 a party of people came in dressed as pirates. They obviously were celebrating something and were in good spirits.

Last orders were duly rung at 10.50 prompt at which time i went to the bar for a last order. I had only sat down when the bell was rung at 11.00pm prompt.

No sooner had i sat down when a woman stepped out of the partying throng gathered round the bar and declared she wanted to make an announcement. The gist of her announcement was like this....If you are not in my party celebrating my 50th birthday,I dont mean to be cheeky but would you finish your drinks and leave as we are having a private party. Drinking up time was barely begun! The public announcement was totally unnecessary and very embarrasing to myself and my wife and the 3 other people who were obviously not in the party. All she had to do was approach us privately and explain to us what was actually obvious anyway. Bear in mind we had no idea who she was.

I went to the bar and asked the barmaid who it was that made the announcement and she said it was the landlady. I said I was annoyed as it was totally unnecessary and that we had just bought our drinks. She said she couldn't speak for the landlady's actions.

It became obvious that from that moment the 5 unwelcome strangers were making everyone else uncomfortable. Bearing in mind we had been spending our money in this pub while the party group were spending their money elsewhere and it was still well within drinking up time.

The public relation skills were zero.

As we were leaving I approached the landlady and again expressed my dissatisfaction at being made to feel unwelcome by her untimely and wholly unnecessary public announcement. Unfortunately there was one "gentleman" who was rather abusive in his speech amongst the 5 of us who commented that the landlady looked more like 60 and wished her a happy 60th birthday. That was regretable but had nothing to do with our legitimate reason for being made to feel uncomfortable with her public announcement.

This may appear to be a trivial complaint on the surface of it but the fact that only 5 people were not in the party it would have been more than understood and acceptable if the landlady or the landlord had just come to us and explained what was going on. That would have been the decent and professional way to deal with the situation. Nobody amongst the 5 of us would have been bothered about that.

As we left the premises the door was closed at our backs but opened abruptly by the landlord who called out "who's the Jock?" I answered that I was the Scot who spoke to his wife. By the way I never raised my voice or used abusive or bad language. I simply stated my annoyance and embarrassment at what she had done. He said his wife had a bit to drink and that she was within her rights to ask us to drink up and leave. I said it was still well within drinking up time, badly handled and made us feel unwelcomed. He then said his friends were laughing at us. That was nasty, hurtful and insulting. No way to treat paying customers who were just enjoying a quiet drink. I said I was a CAMRA member who found there pub recommended in the Good Beer Guide and that i'd write to their local branch and to the good beer guide to complain about the way we were treated. He said "who cares I'm not a CAMRA member"

It is worth saying here that this pub depends a lot on holiday trade. They might not appreciate that or like it even but it's a fact.They should treat holiday makers as valued customers.

I wont ever go back there. That's a pity because it has a reasonable range of real ales usually but the attitude of the landlord and landlady is standoffish and unwelcoming to holidaymakers in my opinion. They need to learn some public relations skills.

15 Jul 2006 02:39

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jayhirst has been registered on this site since 14th July 2006