‘You didn’t tell us about the seagulls’

Greig Cowie, Landlord of the Duke of York pub on the harbour side in Whitby.
Greig Cowie, Landlord of the Duke of York pub on the harbour side in Whitby.

A town centre pub manager has had his feathers ruffled after a guest got in a flap and left in the middle of the night complaining about the noise - of SEAGULLS.

The disgruntled visitor even advised the couple to provide earplugs to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep for customers at the pub which overlooks the harbour.

But stunned Greig (38) who has run the pub with Laura (34) for four-and-a-half-years, said he didn’t know what the woman expected at a seaside business.

He said: “There is nowhere on the website that says there aren’t seagulls – and nowhere that says there are. But she accuses us of being dishonest over the fact there are seagulls. It’s obvious the pub is by the harbour and there is always noise. There are the fishing boats and you can hear them clanking away. This is a harbour - it’s not going to be quiet.”

The first thing Greig knew about it was when he was checking emails in the pub the following morning and read: “We gave up trying to sleep & went home at 02:45 this morning. Nothing on your website or any other prepared us for the continual noise from seagulls at night. You got our business by not being honest. All you had to do was leave some earplugs out with the tea & coffee.”

Greig said he was shocked to learn his guests had left during the night and not even waited until morning.

In his reply Greig wrote: “Our pub is in a harbour, its advertised as being a harbourside pub, harbours have seagulls and boats and the sea, and people having a nice time. We don’t list the potential for noise as we assume people realise that it’s not in a vacuum.

“I am absolutely flabbergasted that you believe we have been dishonest, I think that is incredibly offensive. If you travel anywhere and struggle to sleep I suggest you buy your own ear plugs and take them with you.”

Speaking about he incident, Greig added: “I’m not saying she didn’t have a point, seagulls in Whitby and other coastal towns are becoming a problem.

“I’m not saying they are not a problem but the seagulls are out of our hands.

“I think calling us dishonest was inadequate, it’s not fair to blame us for problems in the harbour.”

Their unhappy guest thinks differently though, in her last email she wrote: “Not telling the whole truth is the same as being dishonest. Plenty on the board about Harbour Views, NOTHING about seagulls. One (half) night in Whitby is enough to reveal its guilty secret.”

Greig and Laura have three children between them, aged between 15 and two, and are expecting twins in the next couple of weeks.