Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

I was kicked out of Wetherspoons for blowing my nose – I couldn’t believe it’

Alan Mannings visited The Thomas Ingoldsby in Canterbury on Wednesday night and because he had a cold, went to the toilets to blow his nose.

But when the 56-year-old returned to the bar and tried to order some food and drink, he was refused service on suspicions that he was on drugs.

Mr Mannings, the owner of Shop On the Green in Chartham, said that a bit of tissue had got stuck underneath his nose while he blew it, and staff must have thought he had been sniffing lines of cocaine.

Recalling the incident, he said: “I’d been standing there a few minutes and wondered why I wasn’t getting served. Then after a while, a barmaid came up and asked me what I wanted.

“I ordered and while she was pouring the drink another member of staff came up and said: ‘We’re not serving you’. I asked why. She said they had ‘suspicions’.

“I was just standing there shocked, absolutely shocked. I asked ‘suspicions of what?’ and she replied ‘drugs’.”

Mr Manning claims he has “never smoked and rarely drinks” and says taking an illegal substance is something he would never do.

He explained to the pub’s staff that he had not been taking drugs, but the bartenders would not believe him. “I said to the supervisor: ‘Do you want to think about this decision that you’re making?’.

“She told me she had to follow through. I was so embarrassed. “A friend of mine happened to be there and saw it. He just laughed in shock when I told him what they had said.”

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The city centre Wetherspoons employees eventually told him that he could have the food and drinks he ordered, but would have to leave straight after.

However, Mr Mannings, who has run his shop for six years, and his partner Joanne decided to leave and get a refund.

It wasn’t until the shopkeeper left the pub that he bumped into his friend, who told him to swipe his finger under his nose, and the piece of tissue paper was found.

“They obviously presumed that was cocaine,” Mr Mannings said. “I’m sure coke looks different to a bit of tissue.

“I’m still gobsmacked. My other half didn’t sleep last night and is shocked and embarrassed by it. “I laugh about it but really it’s affected me and ruined my night and my morning.”

Now, the businessman has sworn off The Thomas Ingoldsby despite being a regular visitor before this incident and would like an apology from the pub chain.

“We really liked it and I used to go at least twice a week but won’t be going back in there,” he said. “Why would I? That’s not the way to treat people. They jumped to conclusions too quickly.” The Canterbury resident is also worried that his business will be affected by the incident.

He said: “If you are accused of something or suspicions are raised it would ruin any business. “People then pre-judge and could assume what was said is correct.

“I don’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else.” Wetherspoon has been contacted for comment.

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