A BOOK seller whose surly attitude towards his customers hit national headlines has quit his Hawes shop.

Steve Bloom, of Bloomindales book shop, was dubbed the “Basil Fawlty of books” after visitors made more than 20 complaints about his behaviour to the local parish council.

Mr Bloom, 64, who famously charged browsers 50p and admitted calling a visiting GP from Shropshire “a pain in the arse” was again at the centre of two further complaints this month.

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One complainant said he felt “very uneasy and uncomfortable” in the shop, while another visitor said his 15-strong group immediately left Hawes to spend the day in Dent after encountering Mr Bloom.

Speaking today, Mr Bloom said there were a number of factors that made him decide to sell up, including the “aggravation” he received at the beginning of the year when he was in the headlines for his rudeness, leading him to admit at the time that he was “not really a people person”.

Following his notoriety, Mr Bloom said he did not like visitors to Hawes pointing him out.

“That does happen and when I hear it, it aggravates me, it’s like being gawped at,” he said.

Mr Bloom said the parish council, which applied pressure on the hall

where his shop is based, tried to get him out following the complaints.

He said: “They failed to get rid of me, they could not get rid of me, so I won.”

But he also admitted that by choosing to leave, he has given his opponents the “victory” they desired.

The Chairman of Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council, Cllr John Blackie, said Mr Bloom was the author of his own misfortune and it was good news that he was leaving.

Cllr Blackie said there was “no witch hunt” against Mr Bloom but the council had hoped he would change his ways so that the reputation of Hawes was not further damaged by his behaviour.

Cllr Blackie said: “The only event that might be described as the trappings of a victory will be the cheer as he leaves Hawes for the last time.”

He added that reports of Mr Bloom’s behaviour had potentially spread worldwide due to websites such as Trip Advisor and the council did not want the negative publicity to affect other traders.

Mr Bloom, who has been trading in the shop for 15-years, said he will continue in the book trade, selling at fairs and online.