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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 10:43 GMT
'Hats off' pub tells 82-year-old
Mrs Wilbraham said it was "ridiculous" to be asked to remove her hat
Betty Wilbraham said her hat ban was "ridiculous"
An 82-year-old Women's Institute stalwart has been asked to remove her hat in a pub - because staff claimed it was a security risk.

Retired teacher Betty Wilbraham was told by staff at The Hereward in Ely, Cambs, that its CCTV camera would not be able to see her face clearly enough.

Mrs Wilbraham said it was "ridiculous" to be asked to remove her hat.

The pub said it was its policy to always ask people to remove their hats so any trouble was recorded on CCTV.

Mrs Wilbraham, of Ely, said she could not understand how her black rain hat with a smart maroon ribbon had fallen foul of pub regulations.

Mrs Wilbraham, who has been a member of the Women's Institute (WI) for more than 40 years, said: "I put in my order and I was just about to go to my table when the girl behind the counter said, 'would I mind taking my hat off'. She said it was a hatless pub.

'Beware hatted woman'

"I was too taken aback that I didn't answer back. I was tired because I had just done my shopping.

"I mulled it over and then thought 'How ridiculous!' It seems it is all to do with CCTV." Mrs Wilbraham, who has about 10 hats in her wardrobe, wrote to her local paper saying: 'Elderly Ladies Wearing Hats - Beware."

Mrs Wilbraham is now thinking of giving a talk to WI members about the incident, which happened last Thursday.

Pub licensee Tony Love said it was pub policy to always ask people to remove their hats.

"It's all to do with the CCTV. We have 13 cameras inside the pub and we cannot be seen to be discriminating between the youths and the elderly people.

"We always approach people politely and most of the elderly take their hats off anyway when they sit down. Mrs Wilbraham does not understand that the world is changing."

Hear Betty Wilbraham's version of events

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