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Upchurch River Valley Golf Club accused of cancelling gypsy wedding

A Romany gypsy says he had his wedding cancelled by a golf club – for being a traveller.

Sid Samuel has hit out at Upchurch River Valley Golf Club after claiming he received a call last month saying his wedding to partner Michelle would no longer be going ahead there.

But management say the couple were the ones to pull the plug.

Sid Samuel and his partner Michelle
Sid Samuel and his partner Michelle

A sign had also been put up outside the club, in Oak Lane, saying “Due to recent damage and theft, travellers are no longer allowed on this site”. It has since been removed.

Mr Samuel, a club member for 20 years, said he was showing his mum the venue when he saw the notice in the car park.

The 45-year-old said problems happened after the couple spoke to their wedding co-ordinator Sarah.

"Next thing we know, we got a call saying she’d spoken to Bill and Dave, the owners, saying they’ll give us our money back and we were not welcome," he said.

“Sarah then called my other half saying there was a cheque and she’d have to pick it up and not me.”

The wedding next September was going to cost the couple in excess of £4,000 for venue hire, before the DJ and catering had been added.

The Stockbury resident said: “I’ve had people saying ‘I didn’t know you were one’. What do I have to do? Get a tattoo on my arm?

The sign at the club which has since been removed
The sign at the club which has since been removed

“Most of the other members know I live in a caravan on a site.”

He said he has since spoken to the Kent Golf Union about the sign.

Mr Samuel, who is now looking for another wedding location, said he would definitely not be returning to the club.

He said: “The damage is done. My mum would never step foot in that place again.”

“We are in 2017 not 1817. My youngest girl asked me what have I done wrong and she’s eight.

“We’ve had no communication except a couple of phone calls and no apology – just a cheque chucked at us.”

David Barling, director of Upchurch River Valley Golf Club, said: “They cancelled of their own free will and we have no comment to make on this matter.”

The club had also been approached about the sign.

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