A group of Royal Navy veterans who served on HMS Ark Royal (RO9) were left disgusted after being kicked out of a Wetherspoons pub during a reunion event.
Around 25 communication veterans who travelled around the world on the ship visited Scotland from all corners of the UK to catch up with lost shipmates, some of whom have not seen one another for more than 40 years.
The group decided to meet at The Standing Order in Edinburgh for a day of reminiscing, food and drink with people arriving from lunchtime.
The group of Royal Navy veterans enjoying a drink in the Standing Order pub before being told to leave by security staff.
But the veterans were astounded when security staff ordered them to leave the premises at around 10.30pm claiming one member of the team giving the reason that ‘you’ve been here a long time’.
Meanwhile other members of the group were refused re-entry.
Alan Willis, 62, who attended from south London, told the Edinburgh Evening News: ‘We were all absolutely astounded. We are extremely disappointed we were ejected from the pub and the reasons still are not clear.
‘One bouncer stated “you have to leave because you’ve been here a long time” while another guy said “you may have had too much to drink”.
‘At no time was there any rowdy behaviour, no drunkenness, no foul language, no abusive behaviour, no loud voices or shouting, no upset, anger or disagreements and certainly no complaints from other users of the pub. We are just a bunch of 60+ year-old veterans spending in excess of £100+ per round on drinks and food.’
The baffled veterans, some serving in the Falklands and Northern Ireland, regrouped at a nearby pub and felt there was a lack of respect to those who fought for their country.
Mr Willis added: ‘It felt as though we didn’t fit in with their clientelle at that time of night. We feel absolutely let down and we’re disgusted with the actions of the security team. Obviously this particular member of the team has very low values and a total lack of respect for those that have served Queen and country.’
However the group refused to let the ordeal spoil their reunion and the following day went onboard the HMY Britannia where they rose a glass of Navy rum to toast their absent friends and lost colleagues.
They also enjoyed the Saturday enjoying attractions such as Edinburgh Castle and a number of museums.
Mr Willis added: ‘We were frustrated at the time but since then we have laughed about it. It certainly hasn’t tainted what was a fantastic weekend in Edinburgh.’
A Wetherspoon spokesman said: ‘A member of staff noticed that one of the group was unsteady on his feet. He mentioned this to a member of door staff. The door staff member spoke to the group and said that they would not be served until the man, who they said was intoxicated, had left the pub. The shift leader on duty at the time spoke to the group and reiterated the pub’s stance over the individual. One of the group was then abusive to the shift leader. The group was then escorted out. We back the actions of staff.’
This article originally appeared on our sister website Edinburgh Evening News.