This article was triggered by the report in the Western Morning News as of today (16 July 2015) as I believed the statements made in it are inaccurate.
Breaking: I just received a reply from the WMN’s senior reporter to say:
“Sorry for the late response. We are going to look again at the story anyway and in the meantime have removed it from the website. I’ll let you know if we’re going to take it forward, although do get in touch if anything else happens.”
I went yesterday to the Cutty Sark to interview witnesses, bar staff and the landlady to find out what happened on the night in question. Up until Tuesday night, the sequence of events were on Alex’s Facebook page and they do not reflect what he says happened. For instance, two separate press accounts say he went home or back to his hotel after the incident feeling humiliated, whereas his Facebook post confirmed he went to Five Degrees West next door for a pint.
After asking around and a visit from the Falmouth Packet, the landlady sent her statement to the BBC, who were due to interview Alex on TV at 9.15am on 16 July. After acknowledging receipt of my email, Sarah then replied:
“Thank you so much for the below.
Just to let you know we are now not doing the interview tomorrow morning but thank you for your help anyway.”
I have just received this information:
However, Steve Taylor, PR and communications manager of Changing Faces, who are launching a nationwide awareness campaign, says Alex was on a boat ride on Friday 11 July and doesn’t like Stella. Further investigation underway amongst boat trip providers and retailers.
The landlady made the decision to tell the bar staff not to serve Alex when she saw someone stumble into the pub, without seeing who it was.
He was told by bar staff he wouldn’t be served and said nothing and left.
This is where I am coming from
Because I am hard of hearing, before I had hearing aids, I would frequently be turned away from places because they considered me to be too drunk, and I explained qhy I had slurred speech. This didn’t change anything due to licensing laws (they couldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt) and it stopped happening when I got hearing aids. One night in a pub in Falmouth, I used the ‘hard of hearing’ card after a few drinks, when I was refused service and called the next day to apologise, as I was pissed.
Ironically, in March 2013, I was banned, because I fell down the stairs on my way out of Five Degrees Below (owned by establishment where Alex went for pint after being refused at the Cutty) and over a year later in 2014, I was denied entry upstairs although I had been into the main bar on occasions since the ‘ban’. I went in after the originating incident to show staff my Dyspraxia report which confirms that I had bad motor skills and could fall over easily. We all need to be aware of our limitations, whatever they are and however they effect us.
Back to the Cutty
The landlady saw someone stumble and told the bar staff not to serve them. The bar staff said that Alex’s breath smelt strongly of beer when he leaned over the bar to make his order, which is when he was told he had had enough. He left without saying much more than ‘OK’. I would question if his reaction at this point is consistent with how he said he felt to the press.
On the next day he went back and caused a scene, raised his voice to the landlady who had not ignored him to watch the tennis (as first reported) but went to speak to him although it was her day off. Two patrons who witnessed this scene have given interviews. Not getting an outright apology that he wanted, he stomped off, slamming the door behind him.
This is all on CCTV which can only be released if something illegal happened.
In media law this could be ‘Defamation’ as the facts given in the press have not been checked and this is detrimental to business income and professional reputation. There has been no fact checking by the press and Alex’s version of events has only been reported, even after the landlady gave her version of events, and Alex has covered his tracks and changed his story. An article just removed for further investigation had added: ‘who walks with an uneven gait due a foot condition’ to perhaps explain him stumbling into the pub.
There is also a contradiction between these two statements.
– Alex claims he was “mortified to be ordered to leave by the landlady who said he had already had too much to drink.”- Then he says: “I was so shocked and I just decided to beat an exit.”
Therefore, he was not ordered to leave. He was told he had had enough and said OK and left, without challenging the decision. As his breath smelt of beer, it appears he had had more than ‘less than a pint’ to drink.
Had this not happened to him before? Is this because he is well known for using his disability so no one dares not serve him a drink? On his Twitter feed today, he publishes a lunchtime tipple. On a full day out on his own in Falmouth, revisiting where he did his degree, did Alex only have a 500ml bottle of beer before 9.30pm when he went to the Cutty?
I myself wrote for a careers magazine for disabled graduates called the Arberry Profile, guided blind people on holidays for Vitalise, work as an access steward for Attitude Is Everything at major festivals and worked as a guide for Deafblind UK for two years. I have not met many people who would want to be such victims of their disabilities, especially when something has nothing to do with a disability.
Here are some articles on disability issues I have written, linked from my website, plus a link to the page with articles on hearing loss and Deafness issues.
I do not believe this story is doing any good to raise disability awareness or helping to create a more inclusive society. It could be reinforcing ingrained views that disabled people are victims of their disabilities, rather than able to adapt and create awareness around them and ask for reasonable adjustments, as other patrons at the Cutty do, including Simon Carr who, yesterday, said this on his Facebook page :
“So, today we have learn’t about the power of social media, or more exactly, how people get all irate without checking ANY facts, knowing the situation, OR being reasonable, eh, Jess, I have been fighting hard!!!!!” – Simon Carr.
In his BBC interview Alex said ‘I had less than five…less than a pint’. The decision not to serve him was based on the belief he had already had drinks, making it illegal to serve him under section 141 of the Licensing Act and at the time, he did not say anything and left to go to another pub.
Peter from the Falmouth Packet went to the Cutty to do his own investigation and this is their more balanced article of 15 July.
I will be broadcasting interviews with the landlady, two witnesses who saw Alex come back on the Sunday and the bar person on my radio show tomorrow on www.thesourcefm.co.uk/listen from 2-3.30pm (Friday 17 July).
Then on Friday 24 July, I will be speaking to Steve Taylor or James Partridge of Changing Faces, about their awareness campaign which they have confirmed will not mention the Cutty and feedback on how to handle the situation better has been handed back to Alex.
Most people naturally find it hard to firstly remember then to boast about their achievements and present these in a confident and objective manner that will maximise readers’ interest in them.
As a result, we all tend to underplay our own achievements and instead try to tell people why we are as good as, better than or different from other people.
In my experience as an editor on various publications and being sent press releases, I believe that:
Human beings tend to feel different from others when they haven’t found out that others feel the same.
Our actual experiences and achievements are what distinguish us.
People like facts.
It is our natural humanity that connects us so let people see yours.
Your music will speak for itself, so the object of my service is to allow the maximum amount of people know about you and hear your music.
There is no shortage of people who want to hear good new music in any genre.
If you are an independent artist who is planning to release a single or album, I provide a music-savvy press article writing service to create publicity material (bios, release info, website pages etc) that stands out from the rest, which means it reaches a wide audience of readers to direct them to your music.
I’ve had over 25 years experience as a journalist in which time my work has been published in a great variety of places as I can quickly find the story to pique editors’ interests by choosing what information to include and presenting it to read with maximum credibility and impact.
If you are an independent artist who would like to release your music, I can work with you once you have:
A recording on MP3.
This uploaded as an audio file on Youtube or Soundcloud (as these can be embedded and heard instantly on most music and press websites and blogs).
Imagery: either a cover image for your music and/or photographs of your music act.
Links to your social media and/or website so people can follow your future releases.
Then I can design a print and online press campaign which includes:
A story in press-ready article form (which you can use wherever you like).
Distribution of this with your imagery around 30 or more places online to reach media, music industry and the public to direct them to your music.
Traffic to your social media/Soundcloud/Youtube Channel and/or website.
To maximise use of the above service and achieve independent record sales, followers and music industry and media interest, you may need:
Licensing and distribution to music buyers through digital music retailers such as iTunes.
Additionally, you may want to boost your release’s reach through some radio plugging to use one of these bolt on services through an existing music company:
Placement on websites with databases of international subscribers amongst clubs, DJs, radio, airlines and more music outlets.
Live phone-in radio interviews.
Pre-recorded radio interviews across franchises of national radio stations.
Pre-recorded music sessions across franchises of national radio shows.
A mix by a Ministry of Sound/Hed Kandi DJ/producer.
Any or all of the above bolt on services will generate a report for you containing ratings, feedback and confirmation of plays from all those that your release reached.
As a music promoter for over a decade in London, I noticed characteristics that were going to increase a music act’s chances of success. I believe these are:
An open and charming attitude devoid of entitlement.
Stage presence and appearance.
A genuine passion for what you do.
As Katherine Hepburn said:
“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.”
Having worked in music promotion between 1995 and 2004 in various London venues, during which time I built up a portfolio of published articles about new emerging music artists, I work as radio, press and online PR manager for a music PR company and am now keen to take on new artists who want to publicise their music releases to the press and public.
Please email me on: email@example.com (while I set up new PR address) or call my office on 01326 619311 or 07863554763 to find out what I can do for or see the Sweet Sound PR – just launched page on this website.
I’d done an interview with Michelle, aired on Sunday 17 March, for an article promised to the West Briton. Michelle showed me a copy of article, which I found I had missed in the 7 March West Briton. However, a copy was still knocking around in my room. Then I heard that a woman had gone to Michelle’s stall because she heard the radio interview! Wow.
I’m organising a promoted comedy night for emerging talent in Falmouth starting on 15 May called the Falmouth Comedy Floor. There are already 2 active comedy promoters in the area, so luckily we all get on and work together. One new night is at Tyacks in Camborne (now I know there’s no u in Camborne).Here’s my set from the April one.
The Falmouth Comedy Floor is twinned with a night I launched with a team of 3 in December 2009, now in the Time Out Top Ten Open Mic Nights in London. Here’s the Freedom Fridge website with the Cornwall outpost page.
In a couple of weeks, am starting doing music PR on a freelance basis for Matchbox Recordings, so please see my vintage Music PR for a taste of what’s to come.
I wish their was insurance on time, after spending an hour on writing a previous version of this blog, onto for a box to appear: ‘Leave the page’ or ‘stay on page.’ I pressed ‘stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page.”stay on page,’ until I must have pressed wrong option (option???) and it obliterated my work. Cheers.
The phone rings. I’m sifting through Tweets anyway so I answer it and there’s a pause. Then a voice says ‘An Urgent Message on your payment protection policy.’ I think using the word your, suggesting something I own, something in my possession, something that exists even, when this is not the case, should be illegal. If words used can be proven to be false, there should be a custodial sentence. That would stop the increasing piles of bollocks being written and said by companies.
I claimed a payment protection policy that I had been mis-sold with a loan back in 2004. It was easy, quick, satisfying and fun. Also, I got some money I hadn’t expected to see again. The reason for this is I worked on insurance magazines.
Check out my radio show on thesourcefm at 7.30pm on Sunday evenings, for a useful hour on consumer power. Also, there are some issues of insurance magazines I have produced on my editorial services page.
I do not have a payment protection policy. Would I speak to someone about it who can’t even be bothered to find out if I have one before telling me I can be repaid it? No way. Who takes these calls and does business with these companies? STOP IT NOW. Read these points below:
If you have been told you cannot get finance unless you buy an insurance policy to protect the lender, you have been missold this insurance.
If you were not in steady employment, with a reasonable salary, in a job you had been in for at least 6 months, without any signs of the company going belly up, or you being made redundant, you were missold the insurance.
If you were told to get a loan or took out a credit card, and payment insurance was included without you being able to opt in to it, ie it was added to your bill and then interest was charged on this, you will be repaid that money. Yes, this happened to me a few times.
It is, as you know, illegal for lenders to sell a payment protection insurance without checking that you meet all the criteria of eligibility to claim, should the occasion arise.
If you have bought a Paymenet Protection insurance, you can go to your lender and ask for it back, please. How? There are various ways, but essentially you need to find out how much you’ve paid on PPI and how much interest has been charged. One of these options will help. Remember, your lender will have the figure easily attainable on their system, but you want to check they are parting with the correct amount. With me, they tried to withhold the interest, but I challenged them and it was repaid.
Get out your loan or credit card paperwork, which will show that you were sold PPI.
Take this to your lender and say you want to be repaid this insurance, please.
If they quibble, which I think they won’t, say you will go to the Financial Ombudsman and make a complaint about them.
You can say that
You were not eligible for the insurance
You were not asked questions to check you were eligible (if you were actually)
You were told that you had to buy the insurance to get the finance.
The insurance was added without your knowledge, ie you had to opt out rather than opt in. The insurance was added to your loan, mortgage or credit card bill.
The conditions of the insurance were not laid out clearly to you.
You could go to your online banking service, open the account you repay your lender from, download a statement and then do a sort by the column which shows who you are paying. This will tell you exactly how much you will get back.
Mobile Phone Insurance:
As insurance is a bit like gambling or investing, only you can work out if mobile phone insurance is worth it for you. Ask yourself:
How many times have I lost a mobile phone?
If I have, has my insurance provided me with another one?
If I am serial mobile phone mislayer, do I get a replacement more than once a year?
Do I pay for a bank account? This info is old, so I am sure you know your bank probably provides free mobile insurance.
Once, when I first had a mobile phone, I worked out that if I bought insurance at £11 a month, and lost my phone once, paid the excess, I would have saved 50p, had I not bought insurance and paid for a reconstituted phone.
All you need to do with insurance is treat it like a flutter on the horses. Have fun asking yourself what it costs, when you had needed it before, how much it saved you, could you claim, what other benefits came with it, how was it sold to me?
On Sunday 28 October, at 7.30pm I will be starting my radio show: Enhancing Your Chances on Source FM in Cornwall.
Instead of talking covering what how-to books already tell you about writing, painting, comedy etc, this show will be ongoingly investigating ways to pursue your creative skills.
Guests will be from the worlds of writing, film, comedy, dance, journalism, visual art, event organisation or acting, plus more as I find them. I will be asking them how they started in their careers, what hurdles they crossed at the beginning of those careers, what opportunities they are currently taking and their plans going forward for these activities.
One aspect that how-to books often don’t mention is how to deal with response from your chosen industry or the often experienced lack of response. I will look at the effects on industry, social mobility, diversity and quality of work in different areas that might result from the difficulty experienced by new entrants into a competitive creative industry.
I will also look at subjects including dyslexia that aren’t well catered for in academia and do a focus on successful people in the creative arts who appear on the Autistic Spectrum. i will review worthwhile reads about dyslexia and similar so-called ‘learning difficulties’ and the strengths often found in people who are ‘academically challenged.’
Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown