Town's pubs shut but 'it's nothing to do with gipsy wedding'

PUBLISHED: 15:38 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 06 May 2010

The gipsy wedding coach pictured by Herts Advertiser reader Frank Clapp

The gipsy wedding coach pictured by Herts Advertiser reader Frank Clapp

HARPENDEN pubs closed their doors for several hours on Monday while a gipsy wedding took place - but landlords have denied any link. Five pubs in High Street -- The Slug and Lettuce, The George, The Harpenden Arms, The Old Cock Inn and The Cross Keys -- a

Pubwatch chairman Nicky Hackett denies meeting

HARPENDEN pubs closed their doors for several hours on Monday while a gipsy wedding took place - but landlords have denied any link.

Five pubs in High Street -- The Slug and Lettuce, The George, The Harpenden Arms, The Old Cock Inn and The Cross Keys -- all closed their doors to customers between 11.30am and 4pm.

Notices were put up outside pubs giving various reasons for closure including electrical faults and water leaks - but the water and electricity companies said there were no failures in the area.

Meanwhile travellers Phillip Carey and Mary Cash were being married at the Catholic church, Our Lady of Lourdes, in Rothamsted Avenue.

Harpenden resident Colin Dennis, aged 32, of Hillside Road, said he spoke to several pub regulars who told him the pubs were closed because of the gipsy wedding.

He had planned to go and get lunch with his mum at around 1pm and tried to get into The George, only to find it shut with a notice outside saying there was an electrical fault.

Walking to The Harpenden Arms along the road, he was surprised to discover it was also closed, giving a water leak as the reason.

Colin walked past three other pubs to find them shut, giving differing reasons.

He asked Harpenden Town Council if they knew what was going on but they refused to comment.

A barman working at The Old Cock Inn, which indicated it was closed due to a water leak, admitted Harpenden pub landlords met and decided to shut the doors of their pubs but he refused to discuss why.

However chairman of Pubwatch and manager of The Old Cock Inn, Nicky Hackett, said she did not know anything about a meeting.

Manager of The George, Mickey Hall, put the closure down to an electrical fault but refused to comment further.

And bar staff at The Slug and Lettuce refused to comment on why they closed.

A police spokesperson said they were made aware of the wedding but they did not take any action and had nothing to do with the pubs closing.

A spokesperson for EDF energy said they had no record of a fault affecting the electricity network supplying the High Street on Monday.

And a spokesperson for Three Valleys Water said they could not find any reports of any leaks around The Old Cock Inn or the Harpenden Arms on Monday.

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