‘Sectarian songs’ spark pub complaints

Friday September 22nd 2023

The Railway Pub Haddington

The Railway pub in Haddington.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Customers at an East Lothian pub have been accused of singing ‘vile’ sectarian songs amid concerns it has withdrawn from a local antisocial behaviour scheme.

The Green, in Haddington, which has recently changed its name to The Railway, has applied for a change to its licence to allow it to operate a pool table in the premises.

But a report to East Lothian’s Licensing Board, next week, will raise concerns from the council’s licensing standards officer, over its decision to withdraw from a local Pub Watch scheme and concerns it could mean patrons barred from other premises are being allowed in.

A report to next week’s board meeting calls for the premises manager to be told to rejoin the local Pub Watch group as a condition of being allowed to introduce the pool table which she says could change the ‘atmosphere and character’ of the pub potentially making it unsuitable for children.

The council’s licensing standards officer says: “It concerns me that the premises has elected to withdraw from Pub Watch and may be admitting patrons that are barred from other premises due to their behaviour.”

The officer added that in August this year a complaint on behalf of neighbours of the pub was received through a local councillor in relation to noise including “the singing of sectarian songs and noise from karaoke”.

A letter of objection lodged with the application from a neighbour also raised the issues saying there had been “singing of vile sectarian football songs”.

The officer adds in her report that the pub recently changed its name from The Green back to its former name The Railway but had not applied for permission from the licensing board to make the change.

The board will hear the application at a meeting next Thursday, September 28.

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