Graffiti slur for gay pub

Swindon Advertiser: Landlord Kevin Holland with the homophobic graffiti at the Pipers Arms Landlord Kevin Holland with the homophobic graffiti at the Pipers Arms

HOMOPHOBIC graffiti sprayed on the walls of an Old Town pub has been dismissed by the landlord as the work of mindless teenagers.

The Pipers Arms, on Devizes Road, an openly gay bar, has not had any problems since it opened six weeks ago.

Now offensive messages have been left on the right-hand outside wall. But the pub owner said he did not feel threatened by this behaviour.

Landlord Kevin Holland said: “I don’t think it’s homophobic, it’s just little minds, 11 or 12 year old boys who think ‘there’s a gay pub, let’s write on it’.

“They’ll probably be in here in 10 years’ time.”

“If they want to hide in their closets let them.

“The people that are most anti are normally hiding from their gayness.”

The pub has managed to clean some of the offensive words off the wall and is hoping the council will help with this. They also plan to install CCTV and have already reported it to the police.

Mr Holland said the pub was not a stereotypical gay pub, but was designed to cater to a mixed customer base.

He added: “It’s pathetic. It makes us laugh if that’s all they’ve got.

“We’re grown adults and we have seen a lot worse in our lives.

“I suppose it’s a little bit disappointing, but it won’t change how we’ll operate.”

The Advertiser reported the takeover by Mr Holland in early August, done specially so that the new owners could take advantage of Swindon’s Gay Pride Festival on August 16, in which it played a large role.

The Pipers Arms has a rich history as a public house with previous names including the Hobgoblin, the Fountain, the Rock Garden and Cartoons.

In its previous immediate life when it was run by Andy Whicher it was well known for its music with bands played live on Friday and Saturday nights.

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