Tuesday, 4 Oct 2022

Would-be landlords snub pub job over swearing and phone ban

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Would-be landlords have spoken out against a pub on the hunt for new management over to its “draconian” rules. The Sir Gawain and The Green Knight at Connah’s Quay, Wales, do not allow mobile phones, music, or TVs.

The pub, a historic farmhouse “in a sea of modern housing,” has a strict no-swearing policy. All beers, mixers, and snacks are Samuel Smith’s own-label brands, and even dart boards are absent, reports North Wales Live.

The pub reopened briefly after the first Covid lockdown in 2020, but it is currently locked up and its Facebook page has been deleted.

An advert placed on the building – and on online platform Gumtree – is now inviting applications for a “live-in joint pub management couple”.

As well as receiving a salary, thought to be around £20,000, the successful applicants will get a flat.

All rent and utility bills will also be paid by the brewery – a real incentive during the cost-of-living crisis.

On Facebook, several people said they have investigated the role – but say they were put off by the “archaic” terms and conditions.

“I applied for this pub,” said one local woman. “The rules of running it are ridiculous – no swearing, no music or TVs, no mobile phones allowed inside, and no children at all.

“The brewery needs to lighten up a bit, pubs like this don’t work anymore.”

Another applicant added: “An old man (the owner) turned up at my place in Flint at 7pm for an interview. We weren’t interested… they sack people on the spot.”

Over the years, visitors have been left bemused by the pub’s eccentric rules.

A college lecturer loved the beer and the prices, but added: “Couldn’t believe it when I came in on my own and got told not to check my mobile phone for news.”

Sharing her experiences, another customer said: “We were in the pub a few years back… six of us, all family, on New Year’s Eve.

“A phone came out to take a quick photo and we were roasted for it. There wasn’t anyone else there. We left pretty much there and then… don’t want a pub with draconian rules.”

For all its eccentricity, the Sir Gawain – and another Samuel Smith pub, the Royal Oak in Flint – has some excellent reviews.

For many people, the absence of electronic devices and music is redolent of old-fashioned virtues.

“If you are looking for good beer, good banter, and a fabulous relaxed atmosphere, you won’t get better locally,” said one punter. “A true community pub, with a heart of gold.”

According to CAMRA’s online pub guide, the Sir Gwain is a “cosy, split-level, low-ceilinged” pub.

It adds: “The walls feature interesting framed pictures showing Connah’s Quay of yore plus prints about the eponymous Arthurian romance. Arguably the least boisterous pub in the area.”

Anyone interested in taking on the pub has until September 27 to apply. It is not known if anyone has yet submitted an application as the brewery has not responded to requests for comment.

Customers with fond memories of the pub fear that Samuel Smith’s ethos has “frightened off” potential managers.

Others have bemoaned the building’s slow decay and believe a transfer of ownership is the only way to save it from dereliction.

Another potential applicant, also deterred by the brewery’s approach, said: “It’s definitely not for us, which is a shame as it could be such a great community pub with a lovely atmosphere.

“But we’re not willing to run somewhere with the rules they try to adhere to, it’s ridiculous in this day and age.”

Express Online has contacted Samuel Smith’s Brewery for comment.

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