Pub apology to soldier, 19, it refused to serve

First published 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.”

Comments (7)

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3:58pm Thu 24 Jan 13

SteSteez says...

Old enough to carry a gun... Too young to carry a drink.
Old enough to carry a gun... Too young to carry a drink. SteSteez
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Fri 25 Jan 13

me2231 says...

I personally think this is disgraceful!, The story should read Bury Pub praised for refusing to serve a customer without corrected ID. what difference does it make that he is in the army?, he is serving queen and country and good on the lad but GMP have sent out clear guidance to landlords about acceptable ID as the town try and clamp down on underage drinkers. the rules are the same for everyone. if you look under 21 and dont have a driving licence, passport or prove it card tough. can i use my staff id in pubs no, so why should he?
I personally think this is disgraceful!, The story should read Bury Pub praised for refusing to serve a customer without corrected ID. what difference does it make that he is in the army?, he is serving queen and country and good on the lad but GMP have sent out clear guidance to landlords about acceptable ID as the town try and clamp down on underage drinkers. the rules are the same for everyone. if you look under 21 and dont have a driving licence, passport or prove it card tough. can i use my staff id in pubs no, so why should he? me2231
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Fri 25 Jan 13

carlchrystan says...

Why did the family meal have to be cut short? Couldn't he have just had a Coke? My 21 year-old mate was in The Knowsley recently, didn't have his ID with him, and so they refused to sell him alcohol. He had to have a Coke. He was gutted; but it gave pleasure to the rest of us, as we ribbed him about it for weeks, and asked the staff in his usual boozer to ask for ID in order to wind him up!!!

But that said, this seems to be more about staff attitude than not getting served. If someone said the words "Not my problem" to me, it would certainly get MY back up! Maybe things would be different if they said something like: "Sorry, sir, I can't accept it. It's the brewery's rules, not mine." Sounds like there's more to this than meets the eye.

Personally, I've always found them to be very pleasant in The Knowsley when I come in with my wife and daughter, and I've never had a problem with them; but I'm not a 19 year-old lad (I wish!).
Why did the family meal have to be cut short? Couldn't he have just had a Coke? My 21 year-old mate was in The Knowsley recently, didn't have his ID with him, and so they refused to sell him alcohol. He had to have a Coke. He was gutted; but it gave pleasure to the rest of us, as we ribbed him about it for weeks, and asked the staff in his usual boozer to ask for ID in order to wind him up!!! But that said, this seems to be more about staff attitude than not getting served. If someone said the words "Not my problem" to me, it would certainly get MY back up! Maybe things would be different if they said something like: "Sorry, sir, I can't accept it. It's the brewery's rules, not mine." Sounds like there's more to this than meets the eye. Personally, I've always found them to be very pleasant in The Knowsley when I come in with my wife and daughter, and I've never had a problem with them; but I'm not a 19 year-old lad (I wish!). carlchrystan
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Tue 29 Jan 13

buckfeed17 says...

me2231 has it bang on and why this is such an issue i don't know. Carl also has some good points. A bit of an over reaction from his father just coz his son couldn't have a pint. Picture House is next door - problem solved :)
me2231 has it bang on and why this is such an issue i don't know. Carl also has some good points. A bit of an over reaction from his father just coz his son couldn't have a pint. Picture House is next door - problem solved :) buckfeed17
  • Score: 0

10:03am Wed 30 Jan 13

shakencity says...

me2231,
does your staff ID have proof of age on it???

carl,
you and your mates should have gone to a different pub as a matter of principle, not stayed there to ridicule your friend...........str
ange course of action.

"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"

So why did the manager not accept this or atleast made a quick phonecall (to the Brewery) for verification, surely that would have sorted it one way or the other.....but no, some jobsworth would rather say "not my problem".


Army ID is now accepted as proof of age, shame it has to come to this though.

Well done Mr Astley, even if you do get a written apology from the brewery, out of principle i'd give the Knowsley a wide berth from now on. There are plenty more places to eat and drink in Bury...that are a **** sight better too.
me2231, does your staff ID have proof of age on it??? carl, you and your mates should have gone to a different pub as a matter of principle, not stayed there to ridicule your friend...........str ange course of action. "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" So why did the manager not accept this or atleast made a quick phonecall (to the Brewery) for verification, surely that would have sorted it one way or the other.....but no, some jobsworth would rather say "not my problem". Army ID is now accepted as proof of age, shame it has to come to this though. Well done Mr Astley, even if you do get a written apology from the brewery, out of principle i'd give the Knowsley a wide berth from now on. There are plenty more places to eat and drink in Bury...that are a **** sight better too. shakencity
  • Score: 0

10:06am Wed 30 Jan 13

shakencity says...

Just wanted to point out that the 4 **** in my last sentance aren't a swear word and i really can't understand why it's been blanked out.

It was d**n, with a&m in the middle.
Just wanted to point out that the 4 **** in my last sentance aren't a swear word and i really can't understand why it's been blanked out. It was d**n, with a&m in the middle. shakencity
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Wed 30 Jan 13

new_lizard says...

you can't say ****, but you can say arsed?
you can't say ****, but you can say arsed? new_lizard
  • Score: 0

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