I was very disappointed to read about The Ensign Ewart, a pub that I often frequented as a student in Edinburgh (and sometimes do on my all too infrequent return visits to the City), banning the crew of HMS Edinburgh from drinking there because they were in full dress uniform.
Ironically the pub is located almost at the foot of Edinburgh Castle (on the Royal Mile) and is named after Charles Ewart who single-handedly captured the standard of the French Invincibles at the Battle of Waterloo.
The background to this ban lies in the fact that 250 officers and crew of HMS Edinburgh were celebrating being awarded the Freedom of the City by marching up the Royal Mile in front of cheering crowds. They were in the Capital to mark the decommissioning of the 30-year-old ship.
Those crew who went into the pub (not 250 of them!) to have a drink had been granted permission by the Navy to do so in their dress uniforms. However, the pub decided that they would not serve them.
Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, who had earlier reassured crew members that they would be warmly received at hostelries in Edinburgh is quoted by The Scotsman:
“It is disappointing that having just received the Freedom of the City, which is the reason they were in dress uniform, that they would be refused service simply because they were wearing uniform.”A spokeswoman for the Ensign Ewart claimed staff had been following licensing regulations, which she said made it illegal to serve people in full dress uniform.
“We work within the confines of licensing laws.”That actually is bollocks, as council officials told The Scotsman that there were no licensing laws banning people in military uniform from being served alcohol, and although in the past such a ban had applied to policemen, that law was no longer in force.
As ever with Nanny, it is a case of make up the rules to suit your mood!
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