‘Gobsmacked’ reverend who hails from March refused entry to bar for wearing sandals because of health and safety

Revd. Andrew Dotchin who was refused entry to The Wine Bar because he was wearing sandals.

Revd. Andrew Dotchin who was refused entry to The Wine Bar because he was wearing sandals.

A March-born reverend was left stunned on Easter Sunday after being refused entry to a bar because he was wearing sandals.

Reverend Andrew Dotchin, the vicar for Whitton Parish Church, was celebrating the end of Lent on Sunday evening when he was refused entry to The Wine Bar in Tacket Street, Ipswich, because of health and safety.

“I was gobsmacked,” the reverend said. “I think the man on the door had a rough night.

“It was on health and safety grounds because their drinks are in glass bottles, and in case one slips and breaks and hurts my toe.

“I said trust me I am a vicar and I was wearing the dog collar and everything. It’s their loss, I wasn’t going to go in and tell everyone to go to hell or anything!”


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Rev Dotchin remained smiling about his experience however, and instead enjoyed his evening at Revolution in the Old Cattle Market.

He added: “I have been in [The Wine Bar] before and it’s a lovely place, but it’s a bit of a giggle really and occasionally it happens. In golf clubs I don’t get served in sandals but women do. It’s silly really.”

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The experience sparked a hive of activity on Facebook, which revered Dotchin described as “hilarious”, with dozens commenting and liking his post on the social media website.

Following the incident, the Wine Bar has backed its decision on the basis of the safety risk of glass bottles falling and smashing.

Manager Luke Parkerson, said: “Unfortunately it’s because we are a glass-led venue, a lot of venues in Ipswich use glass substitutes now. All it would take is someone to drop a glass on an exposed foot, that was our concern. It has happened once before and I am very aware of it, and don’t want anyone to have it again.

“My door team dealt with it and it’s a shame I wasn’t able to have a word with the gentleman personally.”

But despite the unusual incident, Rev Dotchin is happy to continue with his trademark style. He said: “I am infamous for only ever wearing sandals because I find socks devilish!”

He added: “I will go back again and hopefully they will let me in. It’s very tight on numbers and it can get really busy, so I imagine the door staff are more closed off, but they are just doing their job.”

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