A UK-WIDE pub chain has thrown down the gauntlet to Barry councillors and is prepared for an ancient British court to settle a carpet row.

Boss of J.D. Wetherspoon, Tim Martin has responded after Barry Town Council instructed the company to remove a carpet installed as part of the £715,000 refurbishment of the Sir Samuel Romilly, in Broad Street, Barry.

Barry Town councillors unanimously voted to request the mat - featuring the town’s coat of arms – be “removed as soon as practically possible” at its full council meeting on Monday, July 22.

But Wetherspoon founder and chairman, Tim Martin said this week (September) the carpet would remain.

Barry Town Council said it was awaiting legal advice from solicitors and the College of Arms ahead of the legal battle at the Court of Chivalry, the legal forum for disputes relating to coats of arms. It is a court created in the fourteenth century and rarely sits.

Following the July meeting, Plaid town councillor, Mark Hooper said he was “really pleased” that it (the carpet motion) was unanimously accepted by the rest of the council and there was no dissension.

He said: “We all felt Wetherspoon should not have behaved in the way it did.

“The crest is not for commercial entities – it is used by community clubs and allowing this would open the floodgates.

In a further tweet, Cllr Hooper added: “Imagine how they would react if another organisation chose to use their branding without permission.

“Wetherspoon can stick their carpet!

“The little guys aren’t always beaten by the big guys.”

In a letter to Wetherspoon, dated July 23, town clerk Emily Forbes said the council would have been minded to refuse permission for the coat of arms to be used.

The Coat of Arms is patented and granted on behalf of the Sovereign in 1939 to the Town Council for its own exclusive use.

The letter cited reasons for the objection which included the commercial nature of the company requesting use and it being a licensed premises; a misalignment of values with the company’s brand (the council being a living wage employer and banning zero hours’ contracts); a lack of local community benefits for Barry (the carpet being manufactured outside of Wales); and a lack of respect for the Coat of Arms (being walked on and having furniture placed on it).

Wetherspoon requested full council meeting minutes and slated Cllr Hooper over his claims about the chain’s staff contracts and rates of pay - as well as the carpet.

Mr Martin said: “The carpet has been laid in good faith as part of a £700,000 refurbishment.

“This refurbishment has shown our commitment to the town, its residents and our employees.

“The crest was chosen because Wetherspoon, unlike many other pub operators, always likes to reflect the history of a town and that is what we have done in terms of the carpet, historical photos and information in the pubs.

“Following Mr Hooper’s Twitter misrepresentations, the town council requested that we remove the carpet.

“We think that this is a waste of money, especially since the design of the carpet was chosen with the best of intentions.

“However, if an order is obtained from the Court of Chivalry, which is the correct legal process - this action has only been invoked once in the last 300 years, as we understand it - then we will be happy to comply with the order of the Court.

“Since the town council appear to have acted on incorrect information from Mr Hooper, and since the carpet is very popular with customers, we hope legal shenanigans will not be necessary.”

In response to Mr Martin, Cllr Mark Hooper said: “I’m keen to see the matter get resolved in the proper way and let the processes play out.”

Town council, chief officer Emily Forbes added: “The Town Council resolved that retrospective permission to use the Coat of Arms was not granted and requested that J.D. Wetherspoon remove the carpet.

“The Town Council is currently taking legal advice on the matter.”