The licence had lapsed
Not long after it opened there was a liquor licence granted for the Village Club in Ovingdean. Unfortunately it had lapsed and nobody bothered to reapply or extend it. This meant that if you wanted a drink you had to go to Rottingdean or Brighton so club visitors were not very happy about that. So some of us got together to see if we could get the licence back, because even though it had lapsed, it had not been taken away from the club.
My great idea
In those days we used to open a lot more evenings than they do now, and so we applied for the licence to be reinstated. Unfortunately, when we got the first beer delivery the licence had not yet come through. But of course people wanted to have a drink, but I had to say ‘I can’t sell you a drink’. Eventually I came up with what I thought was a great idea. I took in packets of biscuits and said ‘If you want to buy a biscuit for two shillings I’ll give you a beer with the biscuit’; and that is how I got around our licensing problem.
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That takes the biscuit
One night two policemen walked in; they knew we did not have the licence and they asked if we were selling beer. When I said that I was not, they said ‘Well what’s that on the shelves?’ To which I rather cheekily replied, ‘That’s free – I’m selling biscuits’. Of course they were both rather incredulous and so I explained to them if they gave me two shillings for a biscuit I would give them a bottle of beer. The policeman said ‘Well I thought I’d heard it all – but if you’ll pardon the pun – that takes the biscuit!’