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Multi-millionaire Wetherspoons owner travels to Barry to save pub carpet

A multi-millionaire travelled 200 miles to Barry in a bid to save a pub carpet.

Wetherspoon owner Tim Martin, 64, is refusing to rip up the carpet - after the town council blocked permission to use its historic coat of arms in the pile.

Mr Martin's pub put the town's crest in their bar carpet in Barry - the town famous for TV favourite Gavin and Stacey - in a £715,000 revamp.

He has been ordered to rip it out or face legal action over the design featuring two unicorns and a dragon.

But Mr Martin says the rug row is the most "extreme" in Wetherspoon's history.

Credit: PA Images

Mr Martin, reportedly worth £448m, met Barry Town Council councillors in private to discuss the use of the town crest in The Sir Samuel Romilly pub.

Tim Martin noted that there had not been a situation this extreme in JD Wetherspoon’s history and felt that it was important to reach a resolution.

Mr Martin added that he felt there was tremendous public support for the pub and the carpet remaining in situ.

He noted that he felt it was not necessary to get into an argument over a small area of carpet.

He also noted that he felt that the public’s perception was that the council was being too extreme in requesting a specially designed carpet to be removed.

He added that he would be happy for the carpet to be replaced with an alternative when it had reached the end of its life.

– Barry mayor Cllr Margaret Wilkinson

The council meeting was held in private but details were released later.

Councillors agreed to wait for a letter from JD Wetherspoon stating options for a resolution.

The coat of arms was patented and granted by the Sovereign - the Queen's father George V1 - in 1939.

It features the words "Caderndid Cyfiawndeb Cynydd" - Welsh for "Stability Justice Progress" - under the two unicorns, a boat and the Welsh dragon.

Mr Martin previously said the dispute could be taken to the ancient Court of Chivalry first set up in the fourteenth century.

There’s been a bit of argy-bargy over the carpet in the pub and we have had correspondence with the council.

We are a chain of pubs, but I think pubs need to find an authenticity and we try to restore the buildings in-keeping with the original building if we can and to include history of the area and the building.

We also try to use some local art work and I think it’s just an extension of that. We have unique carpets and the designer, looking at Barry, came up with the idea of the Barry crest. It’s a shame.

– Tim Martin

The Conservatives' leader in the Vale of Glamorgan said the argument was "nonsense".

We need to put a stop to this nonsense, get on with our lives and start working on things that actually matter to our residents.

Taking Wetherspoons to court over a carpet would be an absolute waste of time and money, and frankly, I haven’t met a single resident who understands what the fuss is about.

We should be clubbing together to force the Welsh Government to take action over the Barry Incinerator - instead, we’re wasting precious time on this.

– Leader of the Vale Conservatives, Cllr Vincent Bailey

The decision will be made at a later date.