Parents respond to Blandford Manor's ban on children
Take a look at what our readers had to say about the ban on children at a popular Johannesburg venue.
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Popular Joburg venue, Blandford Manor has taken the surprising yet understandable decision to ban children from it's premises.

Most users were supportive of the decision with a handful not taking the news very well.

The beautiful venue is home to a restaurant and a spa and also hosts private events like conferences and weddings. There are also animals such as ducklings, turtles, rabbits and cats and a botanical garden on the premises.

Owner, Peter Chaldecott, penned a 2000-word note on the Blandford Manor website citing the reasons that had led to this decision.

"... after a long period of soul searching that we finally made our decision to ban children. Over the years we have had many wonderful families visit us with incredibly well behaved children, and it was with this fact that encouraged us to delay our decision for so long."

Reasons include:

  • Children who are allowed to roam free and play in restricted and off-limits areas like the kitchen and gas storage area.
  • Children playing on the very dangerous and slippery dam slipway and in areas with wild animals such as mongoose and snakes.
  • The destruction of expensive trees and vegetation in the carefully cultivated botanical gardens.
  • Chasing the rabbits and cats with sticks and hitting them.
  • Throwing stones at ducklings resulting in the death of a few.
  • Trying to catch the Koi fish, crabs, turtles, lizards and intentionally trying to hurt or kill them.
  • Entering the Spa and peeping through the widows.
  • Destruction of property

These are only a few incidents and you can read the full list on Blandford Manor's website.

As a parent I fully agree with this decision from a business as well as a health and safety standpoint.

Unfortunately it is the actions of a few that have spoiled it for the majority but the silver lining is that there is a lovely child-free place to go on a date with your spouse when you have a child-free moment.

We asked our readers what they thought about the decision and here's what they had to say:

I agree with the venue. My kids are still young but there are many places we can take them. I understand their point of view, I've seen how destructive some children are and parents couldn't care less! So by all means if my hubby and I want quiet time we'll go there. Kids can go with us to other venues. People should not be narrow minded! - Claire

My child has been raised with manners- just because other people's children have very little- everyone is banned now? Oh, one day when my child is of age I STILL WONT go. THIS was a career challenging move. - Jeanne

I have often seen the behavior they refer too - some parents are just not bothered and it is shocking to witness their disregard for their kids safety and the venue. But now all families are effectively banned. Are you going to stop selling alcohol because some people don't have limits and became horrible drunks which irritate other guests? I am sure that has also happened before? When you start excluding groups because of the behavior of individuals you are on a slippery slope. - Marni

Yes, I agree completely. The owner has the right to implement changes that are best for his business growth. I have children and while I'm sorry they will miss out I know there are other places I can take them. We unfortunately have a sense of entitlement and a decided lack of taking responsibility in this country which forces people like Mr Chaldecott to take the action he has. - Deirdre

Not all children are the same. - Esti

Oh wow. I hope these owners are blessed with kids or grandchildren. Naughty kids at that. - Melissa

More than fair. There are many other venues to choose from. - Fransie

Nothing worse than being somewhere and having undisciplined, unruly brats running around with no manners. But with that said I blame the parents for that. A little discipline goes a long way and can save a lot of embarrassment especially when out in public. I think the venue has every right to implement this. - Meredith

Children will always be children. He who know how to 100% control children does not have one. That place must create a small space for kids to play. They will lose business.- Alex

Well I'll also take my problem money elsewhere as they are too thick to make a kids section, die Mense is dik! - Gary

Tell us your thoughts on the decision in the comment box below.

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