Watch: The Covid breach that landed city bar with review

A screenshot from the video which contributed to Norwich bar Bedfords' licence review.

A screenshot from the video which contributed to Norwich bar Bedfords' licence review. - Credit: Submitted

This is the moment which led to a bar in Norwich city centre having its licence placed under review.

Filmed on November 4 and submitted to this newspaper, the footage shows wild scenes at Bedfords bar on Old Post Office Yard.

A screenshot from the video which contributed to Norwich bar Bedfords' licence review.

A screenshot from the video which contributed to Norwich bar Bedfords' licence review. - Credit: Submitted

Recorded at a time when bars were allowed to open, but under strict guidelines, the shocking video shows a crowd of around 30 people singing, hugging and failing to observe social distancing.

The footage was originally shared on social media, before being passed on Norwich City Council and Norfolk Constabulary, prompting a review of the bar's premises licence. 

And yesterday afternoon, members of a licensing committee at City Hall debated whether to strip the venue of its licence.

During a meeting which lasted six hours, councillors were shown the footage, while the bar was able to make its own submissions and plead its case.

But after lengthy debate and considerations, members were unable to make a final decision, instead deferring it until next week.

Glen Carr, owner of Bedfords, was present at the time, but told the meeting he had made the conscious decision to allow it to run its course, rather than stepping in to stop it.

Most Read

He said: "With all the best will in the world, you can ask people to do things but they have their own minds. They had alcohol inside them and they were animated.

"When we turned the lights up and shepherded the people out they left very quickly. I could have done that earlier and I fully admit that.

"I have no justification for what I did other than at the time I thought it was the safest thing."

A screenshot from the video which contributed to Norwich bar Bedfords' licence review.

A screenshot from the video which contributed to Norwich bar Bedfords' licence review. - Credit: Submitted

He added that the participants were seeking "one last hurrah" before the lockdown and had broken out into a protest, chanting "down with Boris, up with Bedford's".

Michelle Bartram, a licensing officer for Norfolk Constabulary, said: "The social media footage has outraged the other licensees in our city as the vast majority have bent over backwards to stay within the restrictions."

Bedfords Bar in Norwich

Bedfords Bar in Norwich. - Credit: James Randle


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter