Pavilion policy needs reviewing

From: Peter Webb, Glenleigh Park Road, Bexhill

Congratulations to the DLWP on an excellent comedy extravaganza with Mark Thomas and Friends last Friday. Once again you’ve put Bexhill on the entertainment map. This was a much-anticipated gig that did not disappoint. At least, the first half didn’t.

Absolutely nil points, however, for (a) adopting the inexplicable policy of forbidding readmission for the second half of the performance for punters who left the premises during the interval, and (b) according a higher priority to the freedom to pollute than to the right of non-smokers to breathe clean air.

It was a warm evening and, like many others, my wife and I wanted to get some fresh air at the interval. We were amazed to find security personnel posted at the main entrance to the building, advising that if we left the premises we would not be allowed back in for the second half. To access fresh air they directed us to the south door at the bottom of the spiral staircase (from the entrance hall to the verandah) where we would be able to share the smokers’ area outside.

They pointed out the A4-sized notices on the windows either side of the entry door which advised that readmission would not be allowed, but were unable to explain the purpose of this policy. Unsurprisingly, since these notices were out of line of sight, we had not noticed them when we arrived. There was no advance warning on the ticket that this attempt would be made to falsely imprison us. If readmission were an issue the usual practice would be to have the back of one’s hand stamped to enable uninhibited return after the break.

The outdoor “fresh air” area at the rear of the building measured approximately 10 by five metres and was encircled with steel barricades. Both smokers and non-smokers were corralled into this very restricted space.

It was a very still evening and used tobacco smoke was billowing in clouds around our heads. The experience was not pleasant, and after a few seconds we regretfully decided to leave the Pavilion, thus forgoing the second half of the performance.