Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Mothers told to leave 'family friendly' Southampton pub

Amelia Fitzpatrick, Lucy Guthrie and Lucy Sloam walking on Southampton Common
Image caption Amelia Fitzpatrick, Lucy Guthrie and Lucy Sloam often take walks on Southampton Common

Three mothers and their babies were turned away from a pub in Southampton by a manager who said it "didn't do women with babies".

When Lucy Sloam and her friends Amelia Fitzpatrick and Lucy Guthrie went to the Cowherds pub on the Common for lunch they were told to leave.

The pub markets itself as "family friendly" but the women say the manager told them their prams were in the way.

The company which owns the pub said it was "urgently" investigating.

The manager on duty at the time on 30 July was unavailable for comment.

'Escorted out'

Ms Sloam, from Southampton, said: "A man just approached us very aggressively and said: 'Ladies I can't do this, you're going to have to go', to which we were all quite shocked.

"We then decided to just stay for a drink. He then returned and said to us: 'You still haven't moved, you're still in the way here'.

"He then said he 'didn't do women with babies who have emotions'.

"We were then escorted out the fire exit."

In a statement, owners Mitchells & Butlers said: "The Cowherds is a popular, family friendly pub and all customers - whether regular or new guests - are always welcome.

"While a pub manager and his or her team has a duty of care to ensure anyone visiting the pub has a safe and enjoyable experience, there is never any excuse for rudeness.

"We are concerned by the claims from a group of customers that they were treated poorly and we are investigating this matter seriously and urgently.

"We are in the process of trying to contact each of them personally to ensure that the situation is resolved as soon as possible."

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