Notorious landlords banned almost everyone from pub for strange reasons

One of the UK's most notorious landlord's set unbelievably strict rules to how people should act in his pub and who he would choose to serve.

The Canny Man's in Morningside, Edinburgh, once banned the use of mobile phones, cameras, credit cards and backpackers from the premises.

Owner Watson Kerr would only allow the "right kind of people" to drink in his establishment – which meant that he turned away countless people if he didn't like their "look" or choice of clothing.

Although he was losing a load of potential customers, Mr Kerr wanted to maintain the strict standards that his family kept in the pub since the 19th century, Edinburgh Live reported.

If someone couldn't prove they were a regular, wore a suede jacket or even jeans they would be refused service.

Mr Kerr was described in his September 2011 obituary as an "extraordinary Edinburgh publican whose unique approach to hospitality brought his Canny Man's pub legendary status".

The Canny Man is still filled with a large range of memorabilia and miscellaneous objects.

In the 1970s, a mannequin hanging from the ceiling knock a drinker out after it fell on them.

Susan Gaunt recalled how Mr Kerr's policies on allowing people in had been quite relaxed then.

She said: "It was a great pub then; full of students bikers nurses and always heaving. There was a brilliant juke box and about 101 clocks on the walls – none at the same time.

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"I remember one night a mannequin fell from the ceiling and knocked some guy out. Three hours later he was back at the bar.

"It's sad what it became – I could not believe you were refused entry for wearing leather."

The Canny Man was one of the first pubs in Edinburgh to have scantily-clad female dancers in the 1960s, which many people found this strange considering Mr Kerr's authoritarian policies.

Local Sandy Wilson recalls: "The first time I ever went in my friend and I were seated at the bar having a bowl of soup at lunchtime, when, suddenly, the music was turned up full blast and a go-go dancer climbed onto the bar, walked along it, stepping over the pints – and our two bowls of soup.

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"I could never understand a place where half-naked dancers were acceptable, but suede leather jackets weren't."

As well as suede jackets and jeans, even sock colour could lead to disallowing entry.

He said: "I once went with a crowd and he wouldn't let two of us in because he didn't like the colour of the socks they had on – total a******e.

"I've never been back to this day."

Although the Canny Man is still owned by the Kerr family after Watson's death, the pub's policies have been relaxed.

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