ORGANISERS of a village gala have warned licensing chiefs that refusing to let them have a bar at the annual event could lead to people bringing their own booze.

Aberlady Gala committee has applied for a licence to operate a pop-up bar at this summer’s main gala day in June.

The application comes just weeks after Ormiston Gala's committee was told it could not serve alcohol at its gala day.

READ MORENo pop-up bar allowed at Ormiston Gala, licensing bosses rule

However, the Aberlady organisers have pointed out that a bylaw banning public drinking in East Lothian includes an exemption for the playing fields in the village during gala week.

And they say that refusing to let them have a bar would lead people to bring alcohol to the site themselves without any safeguards.

In their letter to East Lothian Council's licensing voard asking for the temporary licence, the committee says that the gala, which returned post-Covid last summer, was aimed at the whole community, not just children and families.

They say they are aware that many residents do not have young children and want to include all parts of the village in the annual celebration.

They say: “As a committee, we are of the view that without a licensed bar, it may be impossible to overcome the perception of gala day as an event for primary school families, which would be a huge loss for our whole community.

“We have given this matter considerable thought and do not consider a licensed bar would be inappropriate at this event, but rather would be in line with the inclusive social day for the entire village community which we seek to run.”

Last month, the licensing board refused to grant a licence to Ormiston Gala to let it operate a pop-up bar at the event, after it was argued that the event was aimed at children and families, and serving drinks was not appropriate.

The board’s licensing standards officer pointed out that the village was included in a bylaw which outlawed drinking in public places across East Lothian.

In their application for a similar licence, Aberlady Gala committee point out that the playing fields where the gala is held are exempt from the rules.

They say: “If we are not able to offer a licensed bar, it is entirely possible that people would bring their own alcohol to the playing fields, and we would be faced with the issue of having to manage that situation.

“This is something we would strongly discourage but, if we are unable to offer alcohol for sale, it will inevitably be more difficult to dissuade people from bringing their own.”

The board meets to discuss the application on Thursday.