Online Archive  
Issue 3 - March 1972
Last Orders
Two weeks ago a mass walk-out was staged by the customers of the Gay Trouper wine bar. This was made in protest over the sacking of the entire bar staff. This was reported in the local press giving one or two minor grievances on the side of the bar staff. (The management refused to make any comment.) The ex-staff are in common agreement that it is high time the full facts were brought to the public notice. A Mr William Mourn was the manager of the dine bar and had been employed as such for a period of ten weeks. Officials of the Swallow Hotel who own the dine bar conducted a routine stock check and stocks were found to be £700 down for that ten-week period. So the management immediately started dismissing the bar staff, giving no reasons (except in two cases).

Stock control is the manager's responsibility not the bar staff's. So the logical action of the management would have been to have dismissed the person in charge. But no, as well as sacking the manager (the reason given was lack of experience), the management also took the unprecedented action of dismissing the rest of the staff.

As far as the ex-staff are concerned Mr William Mourn obtained his position there mainly because he was smartly dressed; he had no previous experience whatsoever in running a public bar. So why blame the bar staff for the failings of the person in charge? The under-manager at this time was a Mr Steven Lyalls and he states that as far as he was concerned the majority of the sackings was due to personal vendettas conducted by the pseudo-manager from the hotel alone.

They had also done the same against two families from the Newcastle area. As far as we are concerned you don't court-martial the crew of a ship if it runs aground: the captain is at fault.

So why don't the management admit their faults and give the public the full facts instead of sacking innocent workers and making them scapegoats for their own failings. It is bad enough being sacked in this time of redundancy without having a cloud of suspicion heaped on their heads at the same time.

Mr William Mourn (manager - sacked for lack of experience)
Mr Steven Lyalls (under-manager - no reason)
Mr Barry Wooldridge (doorman / barman - sacked for giving two free pints out on his night off when he wasn't even behind the bar. Witnesses can be provided)
Mr Dennis Christie (barman - no reason)
Mr Chris Webb (barman - no reason)
Miss Vivian Cox (barmaid - no reason)
Mr Rod Lee (barman - no reason)
Mr John Pigg (part-time barman - no reason)

Note: if the management are so observant in noticing fiddling behind the bar how is it that a wall jukebox was stolen whilst the bar was crowded?