The news that a city centre pub would not allow in the dad of two customers because he was "too old" at 54 and his son because he was wearing business clothes was almost unbelievable.

This is a pub, for goodness's sake, not a nightclub.

Such an attitude is shocking and totally out of keeping with Brighton and Hove's reputation as a liberal-minded city and top visitor resort. As a local guide, I am constantly asked by my clients to recommend a nice pub.

Recently, after the Saturday-night ghost walk, a group of eight friends who had joined the tour asked me this and I mentioned a couple of pubs. I later heard they had been refused entry to both. At the first they had been told by the doorman the pub was too full and at the second that "groups of over half a dozen men are not allowed in".

I now wonder if these were the true reasons - or were they deemed too old?

This country has a long history of public houses which, by tradition, were meeting places where people of all ages and backgrounds could relax and socialise. They provided a pleasant environment in which to see friends, talk if you wanted and maybe have a bite to eat.

Sometimes pastimes such as darts or bar billiards were on offer. The landlord or landlady knew their regular customers and a welcome was always on hand. The name of the pub, which usually had a local reason behind it, would remain unchanged for generations and so the names were useful when giving or ask-

ing directions. Indeed, in the times when few people could read or write, pictorial inn signs were invaluable for this.

Okay, times move on and things change but just compare the new "pubs" with the description above and see what we have lost. The new companies buying up the pubs change the name, take down the sign, rip out the interiors, take out the darts, instal loud music systems and put doormen at the entrance. The managers come and go and the various groups which may have rented a room as their venue for many years are no longer wanted.

To now hear managers are openly refusing anyone whose face doesn't fit adds insult to injury. Good luck to Mr Deverell in pursuing the matter. The Argus could do its readers a great service by contacting other pubs and letting us know if this policy is widespread. What does the owner of the C-Side chain have to say about it?

-Glenda Clarke, Clover Way, Portslade