A LANDLADY has vowed not to be driven out of her Sheffield pub after a mass brawl broke out inside.
Police are now investigating after up to 50 people were involved in the fight at the Wordsworth Tavern, Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross.
Landlady Pam Smith, aged 47, who only took over at the pub three weeks earlier, said an 18-year-old started the trouble by forcing open the lounge door, which was locked, after he was told he was not allowed inside.
Mrs Smith said some of his friends joined him and violence erupted inside with chairs and tables thrown at customers and fights breaking out all over the pub.
The landlady said she was knocked to the floor three times during the disturbance and the men’s toilet was like a ‘blood bath’ after the fight ended.
Mrs Smith, who has worked in pubs since she was 18, said she had never seen such a large-scale fight in a bar before.
She suspects it could be linked to her barring some men who were trying to deal drugs in her pub.
One man was arrested at the scene, but the incident, which happened at about 12.20am on New Year’s Day, was captured on CCTV cameras – and police officers are now examining the footage to identify all those involved.
Mrs Smith said; “I took over on December 7 and in the run up to Christmas I barred a few drug dealers, so I don’t know if this trouble is the repercussions of that.
“When I took over at the pub I knew it was going to be challenging, but I will not tolerate drug dealing on my premises and I am determined to turn the place around and put it at the heart of the community.”
Mrs Smith said the disturbance was frightening, but she will not let it drive her out.
“There was fighting everywhere,” she said. “There were people throwing chairs and stools, tables were knocked over, I got knocked down three times and then it spilled outside. It was frightening but I want it known that it won’t drive me out.
“I spent New Year’s Day cleaning up the place – the men’s toilets was like a blood bath. The only thing left standing at the end of the night was the Christmas tree, everything else was knocked over, but we are up and running as normal again now and hope that will be the last of the trouble, because I am here to stay and I want it known drug dealers will never be welcome.”
Mrs Smith has spoken to South Yorkshire Police about the incident and agreed to serve drinks in plastic glasses as a safety measure.
Coun Gill Furniss, Sheffield Council Labour member for Southey ward, said: “It’s such a shame about the fight as the pub had only just reopened.
“I will be speaking to police officers to find out what happened and what is being done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police are investigating reports that up to 50 people were seen fighting at a public house in Parson Cross on New Year’s Day.
“Police attended the scene at 12.20am and one person has been detained.
“Further inquiries are ongoing.”