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Pub apology to soldier, 19, it refused to serve
9:05am Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
A PUB company has performed an “about turn” after a 19-year-old soldier was told he could not buy alcohol in a Bury pub despite showing his Army ID card.
After the soldier’s angry father lodged a complaint, bosses of the Knowsley pub in Bury town centre have now changed the policy and will recognise military identification as proof of age.
But 43-year-old Ian Astley, from Radcliffe, who had been a regular at the Haymarket Street pub for more than 20 years, has vowed never to return until he gets a written apology.
The incident happened when Mr Astley and a number of family members visited the pub for a meal. Son Haydn, who was on leave from the Royal Artillery, went to the bar to buy drinks.
But he was refused by bar staff because they said he had no proper ID to prove his age. His father said: “He had his Army ID card which clearly shows his picture along with his date of birth. But the bar staff didn’t accept this and stated he needed his passport or driving licence.
“His driving licence is with the DVLA due to a change of address and his passport is kept by the Army, to which the young girl serving said ‘not my problem.’ Haydn had already had an alcoholic drink, bought by me.”
Mr Astley went to the bar to vouch for his son’s age. He also pointed out that the military ID pass contains a Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) hologram. PASS is the UK’s national proof of age accreditation scheme.
He later wrote a letter of complaint to the Greene King brewery which owns and manages the Knowsley. In reply, the company said it did not intend to offend him or his family and said they would look at whether, in future, its pubs could accept military ID.
A spokeswoman for Greene King has since confirmed it has altered its policy.
She said: “Greene King takes responsible retailing extremely seriously to ensure a safe environment for all our customers.
“After we received Mr Astley’s letter we investigated this issue thoroughly. We are now pleased to say that we have changed our policy so that alongside a passport, full driver’s licence and proof of age cards bearing the PASS hologram, military identification will now be accepted as a form of ID.
“We are sorry that Mr Astley’s son, Haydn, could not be served at the time, but we would like to thank him for bringing this to our attention and hope to welcome him back into our pubs soon.”
But Mr Astley added: “Our family meal had to be cut short because of what happened and they should have accepted my word. I will never drink there again until I get a written apology from the Knowsley.”