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A Grand-ish Day Out

Off up to town with ias and the garklet yesterday to see the Holbein exhibition at Tate Britain before it finishes, but not our most successful day out. Slept poorly the night before, and had a headache for most of the day that left me feeling grouchy and tearful by turns. Finally got out of the house after noon, thanks to a combination of arguments about pannetone (don't ask) and last minute feeds.

Got to the Tate at 3pm, only to find that they were selling tickets for entrance at 5pm by that point, so decided to book online and come back on Sunday. Saw some other bits of the permanent exhibition, including Too Much Turner in the Clore. Introduced the garklet to his first Mondrian, which he found fascinating (we'd already found that he likes Bridget Riley, and the Deluxe mode in jwz's xscreensaver). Walked from Pimlico to Villiers Street to meet hsb, which was lovely. The garklet seems to be building up a fanclub.

And now the not-so-great bit. Went to the Melton Mowbray for the London Circle, to see the Usual Suspects and also to point at London fandom and tell the garklet that one day all of this would be his, so he'd better start thinking of a title for his fanzine.

...and we got thrown out because their license doesn't allow children in the pub. I didn't see a sign on the outside of the pub prohibiting under-18s, and the 2003 Licensing Act makes no provision for barring children from pubs. It does have a number of other sensible provisions concerning children and alcohol, none of which apply to the garklet since, at exactly four weeks old, he never buys his own drinks let alone those for others, and sticks to milk anyhow. The duty manager in the pub (not the licensee) wasn't able to show me the specific conditions of their license that prohibited children from entering the pub.

Therefore, I shall this morning be phoning Trading Standards at the City of London and asking them if the premises license for the Melton Mowbray stipulates no children. If it doesn't, I'll be formally lodging a complaint with Fuller's, and if it does, I'll be complaining to Trading Standards because the Melton Mowbray weren't able to show me the license copy or summary that they should have had on prominent display.


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That's quite an achievement for the garklet - first Mondrian and first time being thrown out of a pub and still only 4 weeks old!

Tell me about it - it took me until the age of thirty-four years one month and twenty-odd days (ie. until yesterday) to achieve the latter honour.

Still, I suppose it's a bit much of me to expect there to be a pub in central London that serves good beer, isn't full of eejits, and that will take a booking for the London Circle...

I can see why some pubs would prefer not to be overrun with toddlers and children, but a baby ???

Silly pub.

I'm impressed that you and ias are just getting on with what you feel up to doing with garklet. He's a lucky little boy indeed !

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Oh yes - I need to put the movie of him watching the screensaver online. His expression with the Mondrians and Bridget Rileys was pretty similar.

Hmm. According to direct.gov.uk, you should be fine to take a child into any pub provided they're not in a bar area:

Under 14 years old
Your child cannot go into the bar of a pub unless it has a ‘children’s certificate’. If it does have one, you can only go into parts of licensed premises where alcohol is either sold but not drunk (eg a sales point for consumption away from the pub), or drunk but not sold (eg a garden or family room).

I'm imagining the pub meet in question was in a back room/snug without a bar though?

Which Act is this from? The law changed substantially in 2005 when the 2003 Act was implemented.

It doesn't specifically state. The article is here:

but there's no date on it.

No wonder publicans are confused about what's allowed, if even the Government's own website has it wrong.

The government missed an opportunity to ensure all licensees knew exactly what the new law entailed by giving them all "Grandfather rights" from their existing licences rather than making them go on the now mandatory training course.

Ironically, the new law should make the licensee's job easier, since it rationalises a patchwork of existing legislation.

However, the transition to the new legislation seems to have been a little fraught (mainly in the transfer of licensing responsibilities from magistrates to local authorities), so licensees are blaming it for a rise in red tape that may not actually exist. There certainly doesn't seem to have been a great deal of effort expended by the pubcos to make sure that their staff are aware of the change in the law, as I think this episode shows

That advice is out of date, the 2003 act reversed the default situation so that a standard licences allows those under 16 onto the premises is accompanied by an adult *unless* the licensing authority has stipulated otherwise (this is so that children can be barred from pubs suspected of being havens for under-age drinking, drug use etc).
It is also interesting to note that these restrictions are just for premises or event is primarily for the consumption of alcohol, so if for example you have a temporary event notice to put on say a dance and live music event and also get permission to serve alcohol the unaccompanied minor rules don't come into play until midnight.

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