I don't like calling Humphrey because I don't know the man, but closing at midnight on New Years Eve is turning him into a laughing stock. Reports have it that only one verse is allowed to be sang and then out you go. I cannot understand how an intelligent man can be so bloody minded. I'm not bothered because I'll be in bed long before midnight.
I get the feeling that he thinks his customers are all from 'below stairs' and we should all be jolly grateful for his benevolence in allowing us to sup his cheap ales, then back to the mill/mine/factory with you!
He's making the manager's jobs a nightmare - potentially the busiest night of the year, with many licensing areas allowing continuous opening from opening on New Year's Eve to closing on New Year's Day without applying for extra time, but because it'll cost him a little extra in staff hours he won't allow it, despite the extra takings that would easily cover the overhead many times over. In fact, he's going to lose trade because customers will go elsewhere earlier than they would have, not to mention the lost goodwill from loyal customers who will be peeved at being unceremoniously booted out of their local at midnight.
(As I'm writing this I can see the Sam Smiths 'covert' Foden rigid dray coming up the hill from my local. Seems to have been originally destined for the Royal Logistics Corps because it's got a blanking cover over what was the roof cab machine gun mounting!)