"A woman member of staff hollered 'no bells' at us.So they went round the corner to a different pub instead, possibly with a whack-fol-a-dildo though if so it appears to have gone unreported.
"One of our group, wearing his morris dance gear, went in first and was served a pint of beer without question.
"But when two of our lady members followed wearing bells they were told to get out."
Of course nobody is insane enough to think that there's such a thing as passive morris dancing or that there it'd be a 'public health' problem if there was.* Not yet anyway, although Wikipedia mentions that some dances involve a couple of clay tobacco pipes and you just know that that must be upsetting someone somewhere.** The morris dancers weren't chucked out for being morris dancers but because the pub had a ban on music, and someone in the pub decided that bells on shoes counted as being musical. Probably bollocks but the way things are in Britain these days I wouldn't be at all surprised if the pub could cop a fine for being in breach of some licence or other if any music was played, and nor is it a stretch to imagine that some over-zealous local authority prick wouldn't say that morris bells, if that's the right term, are music even without accordions and fiddles joining in.
But here's the thing, it's their pub and that means they get to decide who drinks there, just as is the case for the Half Moon which was happy enough to take the morris dancers' money and serve them with beer. Yes, the morris dancers have their noses out of joint because they couldn't drink in the first pub they went into, but such is life - presumably if it had simply been too full to get near the bar they'd have just gone to another pub without thinking anything of it. As it happens this pub is weird about people wearing bells and the other one wasn't. As long as at least one pub was prepared to have them - and the Durham I recall had enough pubs that I'm sure there'd be far more than just one - who cares? Let The Swan and Three Cygnets become whatever kind of pub it wants to and cater for whatever kind of clientele fits in with that. If you can have biker pubs and gay pubs and student pubs and so on why shouldn't there also be a nice quiet pub for librarians or whatever? Just as long as they're not all like that and fat bearded men who like to dress in white and wave sticks at each other to music have somewhere to drink as well. And since that seems to be the case I'd say it's all working pretty well.***
Now, why can't the same thing apply to smokers?
* I believe 'public health' is the correct term for not letting someone do something they want to do on the grounds that you think it's bad for them or that you just don't like it, and possibly making up a lot of crap to justify the restrictions you're demanding.
*** Meaning it's either a bit of a slow news day or The Teletubbygraph has jumped onto the offence seeking bandwagon.