(sorry could'nt resist) :)
Gipsy rider havoc in pub
A COUNCIL has shut down a pub after gipsies rode FIVE HORSES into the bar - causing mayhem among locals.
More than 100 travellers descended on the Cross Keys pub in Erith, Kent, on August 15, and five of them simply rode their horses through the bar doors in a bid to get a drink.
Police licensing officer PC Eddy Boston showed CCTV evidence of female gipsy riding her horse into the pub at an earlier incident in June, saying it had become a 'regular occurrence'.
He said that there had been reports of horses being ridden into the pub in April, June and July, but that in August FIVE horses were ridden in as the travellers congregated at the pub.
He told Bexley Council's licensing sub-committee - which decides whether pubs keep their licences - last Friday that the travellers had also caused chaos on the roads outside the pub by racing ponies and traps along the High Street.
The council committee decided to revoke the licence from landlord Derek McKenzie, who told the panel that he felt he had 'the situation under control'.
Mr McKenzie, 68, said that the horses were in the pub for 'a matter of seconds' before he shooed them out and told the riders not to ride into his pub 'like a cowboy'.
But bosses on the council - after being shown CCTV footage of a female traveller riding into the pub - ordered that his licence was revoked because he 'could not control the situation'.
PC Boston said problems with the council's CCTV system prevented him showing the incident on August 15 which led to the pub's closure, but showed film of a similar situation at the pub in June, where a woman is seen riding a horse into the pub.
PC Boston said that he had asked the landlord is he needed help with the travellers in June, but was told by Mr McKenzie that he could 'handle the situation'.
Asked why he had not ordered the 100 plus travellers to leave, Mr McKenzie said he was worried they would 'smash his pub up'.
Mr McKenzie's barrister Steven Whale said the police and council had powers to stop the horses racing in the High Street, but had chosen not to take any action.
Mr McKenzie offered extra conditions to keep his licence but the sub-committee said they had no confidence they would be kept and revoked his licence.
Punters at the pub spoke of their shock when they saw the horses come straight in through the front door of the pub.
One, who did not want to be named, said: "It was like being in the Wild West.
"One moment you're sitting down having a pint and bag of nuts and then some horses come in through the door with gipsies sat on top of them.
"It was one of the oddest moments of my life, I have to admit and I had to check someone hadn't spiked my drink - it was complete mayhem."
Local Ian Clarke, 43, said: "When the travellers come here in summer the pub is just packed out with them.
"Normally it's ok, but this year it's been a nightmare what with the ponies and traps racing up and down the road and the horses ending up at the bar when you're trying to get served."
Reviews on popular website Beer in the Evening are less than complimentary about the pub, with one reviewer saying 'Bad place. Only barmaid worth talking to was a biker chick - lovely woman.
"And the other who didn't answer in grunts. Other than that a scary place."
Another wrote: "Well is you ask me I wouldn't let my dog walk in that pub alone, let alone myself. The windows are yellow, it has still got its Christmas decorations up (in June) and the beer is rank."
Yet another wrote: "Bar staff slightly moronic, but friendly as long as you don't overdo the diction."
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