Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Sam Smith's eccentric owner launches a "crusade against profanity."!

The Yorkshire brewery, Samuel Smith, based in Tadcaster, run over 300 pubs in Britain and sell some of the cheapest ale in the country. Even in London, it is still possible in some places to get four pints of Sam Smith's for under a tenner. Yet, you would be hard pressed to find a Sam Smith's pub in any locality, because the brewer some years ago, took the unusual decision not to advertise outside their pubs. In 2004, it also banned music from its pubs and now, it has called time on swearing.

The pub chain is run by 72-year-old Humphry Smith, an eccentric Yorkshireman, who according to some of his customers, "habitually dresses up as a tramp and poses as a customer to make sure his rules are being enforced." The head of the Sam Smith's brewery empire, rarely gives interviews and expects the same of his staff. One of the brewery's landlords, however, did tell the press that Smith ruled the pub chain with "an iron fist."

Last month, customers drinking in the Arlington Hotel in North Yorkshire, were confronted by a "mystery man", who yelled - "Everybody out.". Customers say he closed the bar and locked the doors behind them, without giving a reason. The pub was then reopened four days later. One newspaper claimed that a telephone call to the pub seeking an explanation for the incident, resulted in a "no comment." However, in April this year, Samuel Smith's brewery did announce that it would refuse to serve customers who swore, in any of its 300 +pubs.

By all accounts, Smith's idiosyncratic and eccentric behaviour, "is the source of local legend and seems to know no bounds." It is alleged that on one occasion, he walked into a pub and found some people swearing, and sacked the managers on the spot. Some customers at the Commercial Inn in Oldham, also claim that Smith once sacked a bar worker for not giving him the correct change. On New Year's Eve 2011, Smith closed the Junction Inn in Royton, Oldham, because he alleged the landlords were overfilling pints glasses. He then issued a retrospective surcharge of £10,733 for lost stock over a 12-year period.

Sam Smith customers have given their own reactions to Humphrey Smith's "crusade against profanity." Steve, 59, a HGV driver from Oldham, told the Guardian that he thought Smith was a "complete idiot" and thought that his no swearing policy was "absolutely ridiculous" - "It's crazy. Everybody does it, I don't care who they are. When you're in a pub you might have a game of cards, and when somebody wins you might say, 'you jammy bastards'." One customer who was known as the "Vicar", by patrons of the Commercial Inn in nearby Shaw, told the newspaper that Smith's campaign against "effing and jeffing" was only the tip of the iceberg. He said the pub had not only banned swearing, but also standing at the bar as well as talking and using a mobile phone.  

Although Smith, is said to run a tight ship, the verdict of many Sam Smith customers who spoke to the press, was that it was unlikely that his edict on swearing would be observed at many of his watering holes. Craig, 38, a cable jointer from Oldham, told the Guardian - "To be honest if you banned everyone who was swearing in a pub, you wouldn't have a business...Are they going to send you outside to swear?"

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