The 15th Catford Beer Festival is currently on at the Broadway theatre, Catford and is being run by South East London CAMRA. I took James along this evening to meet up with a whole gang of folks and sample the odd beer (not too many since I would be looking after James and have to get him home safely!) I was a bit upset by the way I was treated by the staff of the Broadway theatre. When we went in and paid I obviously had James with me - he was in a front carrier, but noone mentioned that I could not take him into certain parts of the theatre. There were some signs up but we had misunderstood them to mean that we could go in the main bar but not the upstairs or downstairs bars.
We were sitting in the main room waiting for the others to arrive when I was approached by a member of the theatre staff and asked to leave because I had James. OK fair enough, but she then stood over me like I was some sort of criminal and waited until I had put James back in the carrier (he had been fast asleep) and while she was waiting a bloomin security guard came over and asked if she needed any help - I mean like I am going to kick off when I have a 4 month old baby with me for goodness sake. She then escorted me to the cashdesk to get my money back and throw me out and the guy on the desk, who fair enough is only a volunteer, said he couldn't give me my money back unless I brought my glass back. My glass had just been filled with some beer before I was pounced upon so I'd left it in the hall with everyone else. He then said "oh, you know you can go in the Broadway cafe don't you!" So after all that there was no need for anyone to have acted like that, all they needed to say at the start was "you can't go in the bars with the baby but you can sit with him in the cafe and other people can get your beer for you". It would really have saved a lot of aggro.
The whole thing has left a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth tbh, particularly as I am a CAMRA member. In the end, everyone came into the cafe and we had a nice time, I gave James his last feed, changed him for bed and then brought him home, but I can't help feeling that a nice evening was somewhat spoiled by the incident outlined above.