They said it was meant to be a kind gesture on a special day but now the couple who ran the Grey Horse in Elvington have confirmed that it has cost them their home and livelihood.
Despite intervention from the Parish Council and Julian Sturdy MP, Jo Cashon, who ran the pub with Nigel Cookson has posted on Facebook that their fight is over and they are no longer the management team.
It follows an incident on Remembrance Sunday where they handed out free drinks from their own supplies to people who had been to observe the 11am silence.
Somebody complained about the number of people around the pub and the police turned up. A fixed penalty notice was issued by officers but they gave it to the wrong person so that was withdrawn.
The MP said he wanted a full explanation as to why there was a difference in the way police handled this incident and another in Harrogate where a landlord got a first warning before he broke the rules again and lost his pub.
Jo Cashon said on Facebook: “I would just like to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us through our plight.
“The news that I can no longer be the DPS for the Grey Horse has absolutely devastated me.
“I have met some of the most amazing, friendly, warm and welcoming people in Elvington, and I will miss you all.
“As me and Nige go our separate ways and both move onto pastures new, and start whatever new adventures await us, I will always keep Elvington close to my heart and will pop back for a drink to see everyone (when some form of normality returns).
“Have a wonderful Christmas. All the very best for the New Year. Stay safe everyone”
Punch Pubs, which owns the site, have never returned repeated requests for a comment on the incident. YorkMix understands the Grey Horse is now under new management and reopens this Friday 18th December.
One pub-goer commented: “So sorry to hear this. No one can say you didn’t leave without a fight. Good luck with whatever future plans are.”
Another said: “Such sad news. A genuine error has been taken out of proportion and you have suffered.”