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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 14:11 GMT
Pub bans grandfather's trilby hat
Colin Osbourne
Mr Osborne resents being told to remove his hat
A trilby-wearing great-grandfather was ordered to remove his hat when he tried to buy a drink in a city centre pub.

Colin Osborne, 64, was told by staff at the Monument pub in Hereford he would have to take his hat off as it obscured his face from CCTV cameras.

Pub chain Greene King has introduced the policy for security reasons. It applies to all hats and hooded tops.

Mr Osborne said: "I was an elderly man having a non-alcoholic drink but I was told there are no exceptions."

Coat and hat

Mr Osborne told BBC News he had worn a trilby for 20 years.

"When I started as a journalist it used to be de-facto to have a belted coat and a trilby and in those days I had both," he said.

He had called at the pub after work when he was asked to remove the hat.

"I was annoyed, I was put out and I was surprised. I couldn't understand why my poor old trilby should offend anyone," he continued.

The manager explained to him it was a pub rule to enable CCTV cameras recording any incident in the pub to see people's faces.

Mr Osborne said he had some sympathy for the rule.

"But on the other hand I think pubs and breweries should ask themselves who is under the hat - individuality must retain some significance even in this nanny state in which we live," he said.

'Policy welcomed'

The pub chain said the cameras were installed after a refit.

Adam Collett, marketing director at Greene King, said in a statement to the BBC: "CCTV is sensible and welcomed by customers, residents and licensing authorities alike.

"To make it useful we do have to ask all customers to remove their hats, but of course we have sensitivity to individual needs. In order to remain consistent and fair we ask all customers to observe this policy.

"Generally this policy has been welcomed at the Monument and our customers have cooperated with us."


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