Row over £2

PUBLISHED: 11:54 09 August 2007 | UPDATED: 15:12 12 May 2010

Sara Willis-Wright and her daughter Fallon

Sara Willis-Wright and her daughter Fallon

AN eight-year-old girl was left stranded outside Royston Leisure Centre after being refused entry for having a £2 coin that staff did not recognise. Fallon Willis-Wright was upset when staff said she could not use the swimming pool and told she would have

AN eight-year-old girl was left stranded outside Royston Leisure Centre after being refused entry for having a £2 coin that staff did not recognise.

Fallon Willis-Wright was upset when staff said she could not use the swimming pool and told she would have to leave.

Fallon's mum, Sara Willis-Wright, of Coombelands, Royston, said: "No telephone call was made, no question of where she lived was asked and she was left to leave confused, humiliated and upset.

"I attended the leisure centre to complain at its handling of the situation and quite simply left feeling just as upset due to the answers I received."

The coin WAS legal tender issued in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Mrs Willis-Wright e-mailed the general manager, but received a reply which left her confused.

The e-mail stated that once Fallon's coin had been refused she was asked if she would like to call anyone but the offer was refused.

Mrs Willis-Wright replied explaining that this was not true and that her daughter was not offered a phone call.

She added: "The whole situation would have been very different had this been the case.

"I asked the operations manager why they didn't phone me and her response was 'we have 3,000 people a day through the doors, we can't phone everyone'."

A spokesman for North Herts District Council, owners of the leisure centre, said: "The limited edition coin tendered by the child was not recognised by our reception staff and, because of recent incidents of non-legal tender currency being used at the leisure centre, she was refused admission.

"We are sorry for the mistake that clearly occurred in not recognising the coin as legal tender.

"Parents, of course, remain responsible for the supervision of their own children and need to make decisions about how capable they are.

"In this case, we understand the mother allowed her child to walk to the leisure centre and enter by herself.

"The reception staff recognised that the child had been left on her own and offered the opportunity of a telephone call to contact her parents, which we understand was declined.

"As a result, there was no further action we could take."

Mrs Willis-Wright added: "When I got in touch with the leisure centre I wanted reassurance that this wouldn't happen again I didn't get that.


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