York & North Yorkshire

Hawes shop owner branded 'rude and offensive' in complaint to parish council

Hawes Market House Image copyright Google
Image caption The business is based in Hawes Market House

A shop owner branded "rude and offensive" was the subject of more than 20 complaints to a parish council.

Steve Bloom, who owns second-hand bookshop Bloomindales in Hawes, charges an entry fee of 50p, refundable on purchase of a book.

A customer who did not pay was a "pain in the arse", according to a complaint to the North Yorkshire authority.

Mr Bloom has not commented and the bookshop was not open to the public on Wednesday.

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John Blackie, chairman of Hawes & High Abbotside Parish Council, said it had received more than 20 complaints in the past four years and had discussed the bookseller five times since 2013.

Mr Blackie said the entry fee was often a flashpoint.

'Recoiled in embarrassment'

One complaint sent to the parish council said after not paying the 50p "we were told we were both 'a pain in the arse'".

"His behaviour was both rude and offensive, being a discredit to your lovely town," the letter added.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Hawes is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

One comment on the Yell website said shoppers "recoiled in embarrassment" when asked to leave, having refused to pay the entry fee that is refundable on purchase of a book.

However, on the same website JeanN-8 wrote a five-star review and said: "To me browsing in a wonderful bookshop filled with fascinating books, maps, postcards and other ephemera is worth 50p any day."

The bookshop is based in Hawes Market House and complaints had been passed to the building's trustees, Mr Blackie said.

He said he would visit Mr Bloom again and urge him to be more polite.

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