A MUM has vowed never to return to a Hartlepool pub after she claims her young son and his friend were treated “appallingly”.
Claire Gascoigne and her son Kaden Gill, four, went to the Tall Ships pub, on the Bishop Cuthbert estate, in Hartlepool, to meet her sister, a friend and her two-year-old son.
The pub recently performed a u-turn after initially preventing any children from going in when it first opened five years ago.
But the group say they will never go back after claiming they were treated badly by staff a number of times during their short stay.
Claire, 26, a pharmaceutical representative from Viscount Close, off Powlett Road, in Hartlepool, said: “I was fuming. It didn’t seem very child-friendly to us and it was obvious that the staff didn’t want children in there at all.
“When we first went in we sat at the front of the pub where no-one else was sitting so that the kids wouldn’t disturb anyone.
“A member of staff came over and said children weren’t allowed there and asked us to move to the back, which was puzzling because there were some couples without children sitting there.
“Then the boys were just sitting quietly on the floor playing with a couple of little trucks, not doing anything naughty or boisterous, when this other worker came over and asked them to sit in their seats.
“It was time to eat so I thought fair enough, but when they’d finished they went back to quietly playing on the floor.
“The same man came back over, glared at them and said with a right attitude that they would have to leave the pub if they didn’t sit in their seats.
“My son is four and his face had a look of terror on it and his little friend, who’s just two, didn’t know what was happening.
“I actually thought he might have been joking at first so I kind of started laughing, but he was serious.
“It was appalling really and I’ll never go back, with or without the children.”
She added: “I think they need to review their policy on being child-friendly because I don’t know how they expect any child of that age to sit on a chair for any length of time.
“Maybe there should be an age limit so just older children can go in, and I think the staff need some training in how to speak to children.”
A spokesman for Ember Inns, which owns the Tall Ships, said: “The Tall Ships welcomes parents with children and recently launched a new children’s menu.
“As we serve hot food and drink we do ask parents to do their best to keep children seated at all times, although we do appreciate this isn’t always easy. We do this for safety reasons.
“We apologise if this policy was not explained correctly at the time or if the guest feels the situation was handled poorly.
“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter personally if the guest contacts us directly.”