The problem of ID in pubs and the difficulty that some armed forces personnel have had in getting served has been quite well documented in recent times. Indeed, so much so that I am surprised that it is an issue at all now. After all, Wetherspoon and Punch, to name but two, have both come unstuck over it and subsequently been berated by the popular press.
So imagine my surprise to find that the same scenario had repeated itself locally. Haydn Astley, 19, who was on leave from the Royal Artillery, went to the Knowsley pub with his father and family members for a meal. However, when it was his turn to go to the bar, he was refused service on the grounds that he couldn’t prove his age.
His army ID, which carries a photo of him along with his date of birth, was deemed insufficient proof of age. The barmaid insisted that he had to produce either his driving licence or his passport. Now with his driving licence being with the DVLA and his passport being with the army, he was unable to comply. To which the barmaid allegedly said: “not my problem”.
Mr Haydn’s father, Ian, remonstrated with staff and pointed out that the army ID contains a Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram. However, despite PASS being the industry standard, the staff refused to relent and the Haydn party left. On complaining to Greene King, the pub’s owners, they were promised a review of the decision. GK have subsequently announced that army ID will henceforth be recognised in their pubs.
The matter would seem to end there, but Ian Astley, a customer of the pub for 20 years, has vowed not to return: “Our family meal was 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.”