Bar Man, by Jeff Hoyle, June 2, 2017

Hanse day celebrations
Karen Slade
Hanse day celebrations Karen Slade
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It’s Hanse Day and the street has returned to medieval times. There are stalls with bakers, candle makers and potters.

Wandering around are merchants, monks, porters and a fool. Listen up to hear the minstrels or the storyteller, watch the Morris dancers or go and find the medieval livestock.

It could be Lynn, but in fact it’s Hull, who have really taken to the Hanse, even though they were not even a proper member. In essence, Hull is just a bigger version of Lynn, being a historic East coast port on the way to nowhere.

Both places need to work hard to attract visitors but once people can be persuaded to go, they love it. Maybe we can learn a bit from Hull.

They have a former trawler, the Arctic Corsair, which you can visit, and soon we will have our Baden Powell. They also have an ale trail around some of the historic pubs, which we could also copy.

We were there for four days and only experienced a tiny bit of what Hull has to offer, but it was good to relax with a pint in the evening, sometimes in a pub that was an old favourite and sometimes in one of the many trendy bars that have sprung up since I left 37 years ago.

One of the latter is a Wetherspoons which was opposite our hotel, and as it is listed in the Good Beer Guide, we thought it might be worth a look, so on Sunday evening we called in for a pint.

It was a huge barn of a place, so clutching our special City of Culture beer we made our way across to the area by the window and sat down.

At first, we were only dimly aware of a couple of girls sat nearby drinking something bright and sickly looking.

They were perhaps early 20s and chatting quietly away when they were joined by a lad around the same age who was less than sober. He soon became rather loud and rather forward, probably in an attempt to chat them up.

One of the girls was positioned between him and the wall and did not seem to be enjoying his over-physical approach to conversation.

It made for an uncomfortable time for the three of us who could not help witnessing the scene.

The lad clearly was aware that he was pushing the limits, as at one point he came over and told me that everything was OK as he knew the girls. Is that really the point?

Choices. Intervene and ask the girls if they are OK, and tell him to behave?

I tried that many years ago when I saw a lad I used to teach being thumped hard by a bigger lad out in the street. I got an earful of abuse from the victim who told me it was OK because his assailant was his brother who was allowed to do that.

Alert the bar staff, who were a long way away, and being a Wetherspoons, rushed off their feet?

Ignore the situation, or move to another seat away from the incident?

In the end, another girl arrived and took the two away, saving us from making a decision, and another minor situation resolved itself without anyone coming to any harm.

I don’t know how much responsibility rests with the bar staff when such incidents occur. In a traditional pub a word from the landlord would probably have been enough, but those days seem as long ago as the Hanse.