Terry Mahon, who’s managed the pub for a year said. “One reason why I don’t like the drag lads drinking in the pub is because it upsets the rest of my customers. My regular customers just don’t want the drag people in the pub.
“And it’s my job to give the customer what he wants.” The licensee of any pub has the right to refuse permission to serve anyone who he doesn’t want to serve. So Mr Mahon’s alright there.
Before taking over the Champion, Mr Mahon did a three-month relief managership at the Boltons in Earls Court. Now he has asked Bass Charrington, the brewery that owns both pubs, to let him stay at the Champion for another two years after his two-year managership runs out.
He told Gay News: “I’ve got nothing against gay people. In fact I’ve made some good friends among them. That’s why I want to stay on longer than the brewery normally lets its managers stay at a pub.
“This pub just isn’t the sort of place where drag is welcomed by the customers. When I first moved in I suggested we should have one drag night a week – a night when all the customers wore drag. And the customers were so indignant I dropped the idea right away.”
Mr Mahon’s answer came after accusations that he bullied his customers from some of 20 drag gays who were refused service in the pub – as reported in GN7.
In a scuffle at the pub following this incident five of the gays were arrested and charged with a number of charges including obstructing the footpath, using threatening words and using threatening behaviour.
They appeared the next day – a Saturday – at Marylebone magistrates court and were remanded on bail until October 24.
Richard Chappel, Douglas McDougal, Peter Bourne, Peter Reed and Andrew Lumsden were the five gays arrested. They were held by the police from 10.30pm until about 2 am, when after being stripped, searched and questioned they were released.
They charge the police with insulting them, pulling their hair and refusing to allow them to use the telephone.
Mr Mahon told his side of the story to Gay News: “I told them I wasn’t going to serve them, then they sat down and I asked them to move out. So I called the police.
“I don’t think these GLF lads who come in realise my customers don’t want them around If I served them regularly I’d lose half my customers.
“The other night, after they had been thrown out by the police, when I came back I had about a dozen drinks bought for me and people walked up and shook me by the hand.
“They say I bully my customers, but how can one man bully 300 people at the same time? It’s ridiculous.”
In GN7 it was said that the five gays arrested at the Champion, Notting Hill Gate, would appear at Marlborough Street magistrates court, whereas, in fact, they were remanded to appear at Marylebone magistrates.
We regret this error, which was caused by incorrect information being given to the newspaper by Scotland Yard early on the morning following the arrests.