An ex-Beefeater who guarded the Tower of London and served in the army was allegedly thrown out of his local pub – for speaking in German.
Tom Sharp, 71, from Northborough, in Peterborough, says he was talking to his half-German daughter Nichole Falconer, 49, in the Packhorse pub when a few German words crept into the conversation.
But he claims the landlady took exception to the language being uttered in her pub and apparently barred Mr Sharp from the village watering hole.
Outraged: Tom Sharp was thrown out of his local pub for talking in German to his half-German daughter Nichole Falconer, both pictured outside the Packhorse pub
Other drinkers in the pub were outraged by her comments and claim they were thrown out as well.
The alleged incident on Wednesday evening has sparked fury among locals and has been reported as a race hate crime to police.
Former parish councillor Mr Sharp said: ‘I honestly couldn’t believe she was telling us we couldn’t speak German.
‘It’s not as if we were always speaking German and being rude.
‘I could understand if it was all the time and looking at her as if we were plotting, but we weren’t.
‘I think it is a sad reflection of her attitude to life that she can be upset about speaking a language she can’t understand.’
Mr Sharp met and married his wife Anni in Germany when serving with the Army before moving back to the UK when Nichole was 14.
Ex-Tower of London Beefeater Tom Sharp in his Beefeater uniform sitting next to the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen. He was a regular at the pub, going there every day at 4pm
Ex-Tower of London Beefeater Tom Sharp in his Beefeater uniform sitting next to the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen. He was a regular at the pub
After retiring as Chief Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London, he moved to Northborough, where he is well known after sitting on the parish council.
He was a regular at the pub, going there every day at 4pm.
It was filled with his paintings, some of the building, others of wildlife which he donated to add some atmosphere.
But on Wednesday evening, when he says he was told to get out, the pictures and brass decorations were thrust back at him.
The incident began when the landlady was speaking to Lee Johnston, a friend of Nichole’s who ran the Packhorse last year.
He claimed the landlady told him that the pair had to speak English while in her pub.
Mr Johnston told Nichole and she challenged the landlady before calling the police to report a race hate crime.
She said: ‘It’s just not acceptable. She said that I am white and in England and must speak English.
‘I have no idea of motivation but it was very offensive and caused a great deal of distress.’
Nichole phoned the police and was told to wait at the scene, as was everyone else in the pub, but they claim the landlady ordered them all out and they were forced to wait in the cold.
Another witness, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s disgraceful. Everyone in the pub was horrified. We all left and I don’t think many people will be going back.’
While the pub is owned by Scottish and Newcastle, it is managed by LT Pub Management. Nobody was available for comment. The landlady also did not wish to comment when approached by reporters.
A police spokesman said: ‘We were called to reports of an alleged prejudice incident at the Packhorse Pub Northborough at 7.20pm. Officers attended and spoke to both parties.’
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I actually know the pub in question (very well), having lived 18 years in the village next door. To be quite honest, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s always been a bit of a strange place.
– Gaz, Elsewhere, 20/1/2012 15:35
It would be nice if when in England speak English applied, but it does not. If the boot were on the other foot, while travelling abroad I would be really sunk if I had to speak French in France (OK, but it’s school-girl standard and I can only just get by), and just hopeless if I had to speak any other European language. By the same token – and closer to home; as a guide in Shropshire I once took a group of WI Welsh speakers around a site. On hearing them speak among themselves, I smiled and said the only word I knew in Welsh was Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwerndrobwyllllantisiliogogogoch [[[ *** You there stop being racist y’hear? Where’s the PC police when you need them? *** ]]], and I hoped they woudn’t mind if I conducted the tour in English. Whereupon they laughed, and spoke among each other in English. It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it. This landlady has done her business irreperable damage, and should be replaced by the brewery before she damages their reputation as well. Well done to the locals for taking a stand against her intolerance.
– Hilary, Oxfordshire, 20/1/2012 15:34
I wonder what our German Royal Family think of that, Eh?
– bambazonke, Worcester, 20/1/2012 15:33
Who can fathom the ways of landlords / ladies I once got thrown out of a pub in Guildford for wearing a suit – and it wasn’t my birthday suit. It was a Harry Fenton one (showing my age) so maybe I was asking for it.
– MM, Southampton, 20/1/2012 15:32
A race hate crime, I bet the Police were there in minutes.
– TERRY, BUCKS, 20/1/2012 15:31
Don’t bother calling the police in this country – it’s always the victims who get done for everything. Also, there are so many foreigners here, i don’t know a place in england where english is spoken!!!
– Jane, London, 20/1/2012 15:30
Simple solution.Sack the landlady.
– Zippy, Carlisle,UK, 20/1/2012 15:29
Free speech anybody?
– The Big Figure, Somewhere, 20/1/2012 15:29
silly woman..does that mean foreign tourists or visitors are banned as well..she should not be in this line of work with an attitude like this…
– maureen king, essex, 20/1/2012 15:27
Here in the United States any business worth it’s salt and conscious of integrity and equality of all races would A) Fire her (relieve her of her position) and B) Disassociate themselves from her and C) Issue a public apology. I hope everyone pickets that pub and calls the local television station to gain further negative publicity. She is despicable.
– AJLind, Palm Beach, FL USA, 20/1/2012 15:23
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Interesting. The Queen Elizabeth SCG ‘Windsor’ is half German btw, Harry and Willian one quarter German. Though I haven’t heard QEII speak German yet, would the Palace Guard throw QEII out of the Palace if she did? Any Hanover’s interested in a ‘Bloodline-Genetic Purity Inquiry Commission?