A BID to bring topless barmaids to a Hereford city centre pub was shut down after Banks's Brewery found out about the plans in 1992.

People applying to a job advert for bar work at the Old Harp in Hereford's Widemarsh Street were in for a surprise when they were informed of a couple of extra qualifications not mentioned in the Job Centre advert – they had to be female and topless.

The move, a first for Hereford in June 1992, was "a bit of a stunt to get a bit more trade in when times are slack," said then manager, Dave Sindall.

He told the Hereford Times that the aim was to have topless barmaids working behind the bar on Wednesday lunchtimes and Friday and Saturday nights.

"Regulars seem to think it is a good idea," he said at the time.


Job Centre manager Penny Loader told the Hereford Times that she was aware of the details of the job and added that it was normal for the Job Centre not to advertise the full particulars of a job.

The Old Harp was at the centre of a controversy over topless barmaids

The Old Harp was at the centre of a controversy over topless barmaids

The job, which had been advertised for about a week by June 18, had received some interest, she said.

But the plans did not please everyone.

Roy Davies, tenancy regional manager for Banks's Brewery, said that he knew nothing of the idea, that it was not something that was done at other Banks's pubs, and that it might not be within the tenancy agreement.

The Old Harp ploughed on with its plans, with the Hereford Times reporting a week later that Mr Sindall had said interviews had been held, and that he hoped a new barmaid would be starting within days.

But Banks's marketing manager Adrian Willis said that "under no circumstances would this happen in a Banks's managed house".

"We really do frown on this sort of thing," Mr Willis said, stating that he was sure there was "something in the tenancy agreement" which would cover such a thing.

Mr Sindall said police had also threatened to take away the pub's licence over the plans.

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