‘No respect’ from shop during Luton Remembrance service

People have complained about the music blaring from this shop during the Remembrance Day parade in Luton and the two minute silence. Photo by Joanna Cross
People have complained about the music blaring from this shop during the Remembrance Day parade in Luton and the two minute silence. Photo by Joanna Cross

A shop in Luton town centre was slated for showing “no respect” during the Remembrance Day service held earlier this month.

During the two minute silence outside Luton Town Hall on November 13, nearby Polish delicatessen Smaczek continued playing music and serving customers, in spite of the solemn gathering outside.

When two veterans stepped into the store to ask them to be quiet, they claim to have been jeered at by staff members who refused to turn off the music.

Ex-RAF serviceman Martin Maguire said: “It was just disgusting. They were playing loud music and laughing and joking during the two minute silence.

“We were stood outside the Town Hall and we heard the beep, beep of the till and the music.”

Mr Maguire claims a female staff member responded rudely to his request to switch off the music.

He added: “It made us feel very angry and we walked out in disgust... in the end a police inspector came in and asked them to turn off the music. They showed a complete lack of respect as we remembered the fallen.”

Three people approached the assembled media to complain about the store’s behaviour.

One woman said: “During the ceremony and two minute silence they had music blaring out from the shop and were very noisy. The veterans went into the shop to ask them to turn it down and a woman shop worker was very rude.”

A Smaczek spokesman told the Herald & Post that the incident came about through a misunderstanding.

He said: “We respect all the war veterans and those who have suffered because of wars. Our grandparents and great grandparents were victims of the war too.

“This incident was due to a misunderstanding on the day and not a due to a lack of sympathy or respect.

“One of the war veterans requested for the music to be switched off which we did immediately and closed the shop door at the same time because we did not wish the service to be interrupted.

“We are truly sorry that we may have disturbed the two minutes silence during the Remembrance Service.

“We will ensure that this will not happen in the future and apologise profusely for any offence caused.”