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Rat in Trowbridge pub

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Fri 05 Feb 2016

Rat in Trowbridge pub

Staff were forced to close the Wetherspoons bar and refund customers after the incident involving two rats at 8.30pm on Tuesday evening. But they reopened just 30 minutes later. 

Mr Coombs, 22, and Miss Wren, 21, of Broad Street, Trowbridge, said they were left shocked by the experience. 

“We had just started eating and this great big rat came at Reece’s food. He was bringing a chip to his mouth and a rat ran up his leg, took the chip from his hand and scurried off,” said Ms Wren, who works as a nursery nurse.

“I saw it run across the dance floor and apparently there was another rat running in the opposite direction.

“Staff came to each table and didn’t explain what happened, instead they said could we leave ‘due to unforeseen circumstances.’ It was shadily done. Some people didn’t even get refunds.”

On Wednesday Wetherspoons apologised and said that pest control, which had scoured the building earlier that day, had dealt with the matter.

The pub closed again to customers later and was still shut yesterday.

“It was a shocking and very weird experience. I certainly didn’t expect that to happen,” said Mr Coombs, who works as an audio fitter at Halfords. There wasn’t much organisation with refunding people and getting people out. I think they should have done more.

“I won’t be going to eat there anytime soon. When I heard they opened again after half an hour I was quite surprised. We were just told to go to another pub. They didn’t say they would reopen.”

Ms Wren added: “I don’t think they treated us very well. If that was me I would have offered free meals and a lot more. They didn’t seem very apologetic. It is a shame because we went there all the time.”

Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for the Park Road pub which was given “good” food hygiene rating from Wiltshire Council last July, said on Wednesday: “We can confirm that two rats were spotted in the pub last night.

"We are aware that one of the rats took a chip which had fallen on the floor from a customer’s meal, but can’t confirm the fact that it ran up a customer’s trouser.

Following the sighting the pub was closed for 30 minutes and once checks had been made, reopened.

“Customers in the pub at the time were understanding of the situation. We have since called in pest control experts who have dealt with the situation.

"We are not sure how the rats came into the pub, however there has been some fly tipping in the alley at the rear of the pub and this might have been a factor.

"We aim to uphold the highest standards in our pubs at all times and apologise to customers for this situation. We believe it is now under control.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “We have visited the premises and provided advice, and are in regular contact with the management team. 

“They have voluntarily closed the pub and we will continue to work with its management to ensure the issue is resolved as quickly as possible and there is no risk to health.”