Great news McSensei, glad you are safe and well.
My Christmas was tip top, and incident free.The set up:
Good family run pub in a really
$hitty area of cambridge. Around one corner you have a homeless hostel (not friendly tramps- dealers, prostitutes and other n'er do wells), down the other end is Cambridge's roughest housing estate (which is much rougher than Camb council's 'public image' of cambridge would have you believe). In the general area are a couple of other pubs that are not only not well managed or controlled, but one actually encourages the local traveller community to come in. (All PC protests will fall on the deaf ears of experience with this one I am afraid). The result:
My In-laws have a tried and tested plan.
1. front door locked. Sign on it 'regulars and their guests only- use back door)
2. Back door locked, but with either Father in law, or me, or both of us sat on the inside, able to unlock and give entry to welcome faces, or tell strangers 'not tonight' through the glass.
3. Anyone unwelcome who kicks the door, or wont move on, door gets opened they get told to leave. If they dont, they get moved on. Merry Christmas
This is the same set up for all special occasions, and big sporting events.
My Dad in law is 6'7" 20-21 stones, and my god he can ruck when he needs to (and sometimes when he probably doesn't need to
), and i am his trusted sidekick
. One guy we had out a few years ago called us 'Lanky and Wanky', and was very puzzled when we almost let go of him through laughing so hard
Its a very controlled environment, and no one even kicked up a stink when being turned away at any point through the Holidays.
Suited us, we just relaxed and chugged chasers- we needed the energy