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Rowdy behaviour sparks White Hart's New Years Eve cancellation , says landlord Ben Wilson

An historic high street pub says it will close on New Year’s Eve following “rowdy behaviour” at previous events.

Ben Wilson’s family has run the White Hart on Hythe High Street for seven years.

Explaining the decision, he said: “It’s just the typical rowdy behaviour from lads on a night out. And because it falls on a Sunday it made the decision easier to make.

Ben Wilson, landlord of the White Hart
Ben Wilson, landlord of the White Hart

“We’re not the kind of pub that promotes hardcore drinking, we don’t do shots or live music.

“We never have trouble in here, we’ve only seen it on the last two New Years Eves and it can get you down.”

Mr Wilson and his parents have transformed the red-brick pub, dating back to 1395, into an intimate tavern and restaurant.

Mr Wilson says he was disheartened when the restaurant cleared out early last New Year’s Eve.

“Last year we were nowhere near as busy. All our restaurant clientele left, we closed before half ten,” he said.

It comes as the King’s Head pub, about a hundred metres away in the High Street, announced it would also shut its doors so staff can relax.

The White Hart in Hythe High Street
The White Hart in Hythe High Street

Kendra Lennon, the pub’s chef, said: “We will only be open until 4pm that day, we always shut on New Year’s Eve. It gives staff a chance to have a rest.”

But other landlords are determined to open on one of the pub trade’s busiest nights of the year.

They include Paul Thomas, boss of the Red Lion in Red Lion Square and Nicola Ewart-Plane, of the Globe Inn, just opposite.

Mr Thomas said: “We’ll be open for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, we don’t ever get any trouble.

“I keep it very tidy here, I like a nice, clean and tidy bar.”

Ms Ewart-Plane added: “It has fallen quite strangely because we’re not normally open on a Sunday.

“We will have live music from 9pm. Yes, we are going to be open every day – we will be open both Christmas and New Years Eve.”

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