By Lydia Blundell
The owner of Samuel Smith brewery has released a memo to branch managers instructing them to ban the use of ‘telecommunication devices’ inside their pubs.
This development will be implemented in The Swan & Three Cygnets and The Colpitts Hotel, the Durham branches of the Samuel Smith brewery.
The memo, dated to March 25th and entitled ‘Mobile Phones and other Transmission Equipment,’ reportedly instructed staff that patrons ought to go outside to make or receive phone-calls, ‘in the same way as is required with smoking.’
The ban is set to cover laptops, tablets and iPads as well as mobile phones. Customers will not be permitted to ‘receive transmitted pictures of sport or download music apps.’
Student Max Parry told Palatinate: “I think it’s a positive step. Pubs are meant to be social spaces where we interact with the people in the room, in our immediate company, not yet another venue to endlessly scroll Instagram and Facebook. If it’s really that offensive, go literally anywhere else.”
The ban is set to cover laptops, tablets and iPads as well as mobile phones.
Humphrey Smith has expressed his wish for the brewery, founded in 1758, to maintain a, ‘traditional, uncompromisingly Victorian aesthetic,’ in order to respect the wishes of its original founder.
Preceding this latest development, Samuel Smith pubs have not been allowed to play music or television footage. They have also upheld a zero-tolerance policy on swearing.
James Boyd-Hill told Palatinate, “my immediate reaction is to ask how they would enforce this change in such a busy student pub.”
Mr Smith himself, 73, apparently frequents the 300 pubs owned by the brewery across the UK in order to ensure that these standards are being upheld.
The memo concluded with the message that the, ‘brewery’s policy is that our pubs are for social conversation person to person.’
Samuel Smith is not alone in cracking down upon the use of technology on its premises. Frankie and Benny’s became the first family restaurant in the UK to ban the use of mobile phones, whilst the landlord of Durham’s own Court Inn asked its customers to refrain from mobile phone usage on the premises.
Featured Photo by Adam Bruderer via Flickr