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Robin Collins refused entry to George Vaults bar in Rochester for wearing kilt

By Lizzie Massey

For when Robin Collins marched towards the George Vaults showing his knees he was told: “You’re not coming in here looking like that.”

With his Celtic ancestors no doubt spinning in their graves, Mr Collins did a Highland fling and moved on to another bar that provided more of a welcome.

Robin Collins in his kilt

Robin Collins in his kilt

It is the first time the 40-year-old photographer has had any such problems. He is often seen in his leather kilt – even taking a brisk winter walk from his home in Marsh Crescent, High Halstow, to a pub in Cooling.

The fitness fan takes part in high-intensity “Spartan runs” and spends a lot of time at the Virgin Active Medway gym.

Last Saturday night he and a group of about 25 people from the gym’s spinning class went out for a Christmas do, starting with a meal at the Shozna before moving on to the Vaults.

Mr Collins was refused entry to George Vaults

Mr Collins was refused entry to George Vaults

He said: “It was a bit of a laugh to get my legs out, because I’m known for my calves. But I do wear the kilt generally as well.

“I got a lot of nice comments on it at the Shozna. It’s always a good conversation starter.”

But he received a much cooler reception when he arrived at the bar at around 10.30pm.

"I couldn’t believe it – not being able to wear a kilt in the United Kingdom? I feel like that’s offensive to our own culture" - Robin Collins

Mr Collins, who assured KentOnline he always wears underwear while in the kilt after some embarrassing pranks when he wore it in his early 20s, said: “I’m quite a big bloke and I don’t know if the bouncer immediately took a dislike to me or what.

“We were queuing outside and one of the group, Claire, was cold, so I gave her my sheepskin coat. It was that little act of chivalry that got me spotted, I think.

“I got to the door and the bouncer just said ‘you’re not coming in here looking like that’.

“I couldn’t believe it – not being able to wear a kilt in the United Kingdom? I feel like that’s offensive to our own culture. Even the Royal Family wear kilts on Christmas Day.

“My friend got in just wearing a T-shirt while I was in a smart shirt, and I saw people inside in fancy dress. I suppose I should have said I was in fancy dress and maybe I would have got in, but I shouldn’t have had to.

"I’d even gone out that day because I needed new smart shoes, and that’s normally what they have the problem with. I didn’t want to argue, so I left with my brother.”

The pair went into the Singapora without a problem, but being separated from the group had ruined the mood, and after one drink they got a taxi home.

The George Vaults manager declined to give a comment, but responded to Mr Collins’ complaint this week saying: “I am sorry to hear that you encountered problems with our door staff on Saturday night.

“We as a business do respect traditions at Christmas and as far as I am aware we have always allowed kilts in our venue. We can only apologise once again for the whole misunderstanding.”

Mr Collins, who once appeared on Blind Date, said: “I’m glad they’ve apologised, but they can’t change the fact that it ruined my night and the Christmas do.”

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