CUSTOMERS at a country pub are up in arms over the introduction of more rules — including a strict new dress code policy which has been branded “a joke”.
The Royal Oak in Ulley, which hit the headlines last year after it banned motorcyclists, has now outlawed baseball caps, trainers, tracksuit bottoms, hi-vis workwear and vest tops.
The pub, which is owned by Tadcaster-based Samuel Smith Brewery, has also removed long-standing children’s playground equipment.
The brewery, which owns around 200 pubs around the UK, has also previously banned swearing from its premises.
David Aughton (70), who has been a customer at the pub since he was 19, said: “You can’t go if you’re on a motorbike, you can’t sit on the wall outside and your kids have to be off the premises by 7pm.
“Now there’s a sign up saying no baseball caps, no trainers, no tracksuit bottoms.”
Mr Aughton said the pub had removed a children’s play area which had been used for “donkey’s years”.
“It’s the same team who go in every afternoon and we are all up in arms about the new rules,” he said.
“Ulley is a village in the middle of nowhere and people take their dogs walking around here.
“You don’t wear smart shoes when you go walking, you have trainers on, and you call and have a drink.
“The bikers who used to call are not kids — they’re men in their fifties with expensive Harley Davidson motorbikes.”
The brewery has also reduced the pub’s opening hours and it is now closed Monday and Tuesday.
Fellow regular Melvyn Partridge (74), of Aston, said customers thought the new rules were “a joke”.
Mr Partridge said four customers who had visited the pub last week were turned away for wearing trainers.
He said his only remaining options were to walk two miles to the pub in shoes, drive to the pub or stop visiting.
Mr Partridge, who has been drinking at the pub for 50 years, said he had decided to stop going to The Royal Oak.
No-one from the brewery responded to the Advertiser’s request for a comment and the pub’s manager declined to comment.
Last week, Samuel Smith Brewery and its chairman, Humphrey Smith, were ordered to pay nearly £28,000 at at Brighton Magistrates’ Court after admitting failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator.
We want to continue holding local authorities to account, attending court and council meetings, as well as providing breaking news, competitions and offers – but it costs money. Online advertising does not cover costs, therefore we feel the need to ask for your help in ensuring we can provide the best possible coverage, online and in our printed products.
For as little as £1, you can support the Rotherham Advertiser – and it only takes a minute.
Click here to support local news.