Bogus Pope’s visit to St Albans pub
ST ALBANS: City centre publican Jay Franco could be forgiven for thinking he had one too many on Saturday when the Pope popped into his pub for a pint.
While there was definitely no blessing, a fake Pope, protected by security, visited the Duke of Marlborough pub on Holywell Hill as part of a series of escapades aimed at cashing in on the real Pope’s visit to the UK.
Jay, landlord of the 156-year-old pub, said he thought something fishy was afoot when burly men in dark suits, dark sunglasses and wearing mobile phone earpieces arrived without warning in vehicles with blacked-out windows.
His suspicion was further cemented upon the arrival of a lorry which deposited the fake popemobile outside his pub. A man then changed into papal garb before being chauffeur-driven in his apparently convincing-looking popemobile through the city, bemusing local people.
The elaborate publicity stunt was part of a marketing gimmick for Ireland betting giant Paddy Power. Various websites have carried information about the fake popemobile being wheelclamped, and at one stage pulled over by police in London following the security scare during Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit.
You may also want to watch:
Jay described the visit as an “elaborate hoax, but very funny”.
- 1 St Albans violent crime: Teen drugs gang behind spate of attacks on rivals found guilty
- 2 £36 million loan to refinance Maltings Shopping Centre
- 3 What are the outstanding schools in Hertfordshire?
- 4 Harpenden arrest in connection with St Albans council fraud probe
- 5 7 of the prettiest villages to visit in Hertfordshire
- 6 Thunderstorms and possible flooding forecast for St Albans and Welwyn Hatfield area
- 7 7 top tourist attractions to visit in Hertfordshire during the summer holidays
- 8 St Albans violent crime: 'Intervention needed to break the cycle of grooming'
- 9 Man given Criminal Behaviour Order for being drunk in St Albans
- 10 St Albans County Lines crackdown continues with more arrests