If you are a woman in Beverley, East Yorkshire, with nowhere to stay, I suggest you avoid Minster Garth Guest House. Honestly, sleep in your car, on the side of the road – or, better yet, just get in your car and drive back to wherever you came from. Trust me, you are not wanted there; a fact the owner, John Dixon Hart, made abundantly clear when he hung a sign on the front door of his B&B that read: “Women Are Not Welcome”.
It might shock you to learn that Mr Hart doesn’t actually like women that much. Or at all. Talking to the Hull Daily Mail, Hart commented, “I don’t really like women. I just don’t speak to them or look at them.” Which sounds logistically complicated seeing as he’s married to a woman and has two daughters – Christmas at the Hart residence is definitely going to be hard work.
Hart admitted he didn’t know what his guests thought of the sign – which is exactly the sort of hands-off approach all small businesses should adopt. “I believe there’s one staying at the moment,” he shrugged. “I have no idea what she thinks (to the sign), I have not spoken to her about it.” If you were in any way doubting his commitment to his job, note the other sign on the door, below the doorbell that reads, “Please wait 3-4 minutes if no reply”.
Hart said he chose the language deliberately. “I am sure if I said ‘no women allowed’ that would be illegal,” he told The Hull Daily Mail. “But you can say ‘women are not welcome’.” It’s nice to know he put so much thought into the sign, plus, as my illustrious colleague, Amy Jones, commented: “He's done it on a lightbox as well, so you know he's #instagramready.”
To be fair, Hart knows a thing or two about run-ins with the law. In July, he was fined £7,000 for falsely advertising his B&B as a four-star establishment – despite the bloodstains on the walls, mouse droppings in the bed and mud in the fridge. Just your standard four-star B&B sort of stuff, really.
Hart told the Evening Standard that he believed women were “taking over” the UK by “usurping men's position in society". How exactly are women “taking over” you might be wondering? By being so audacious as to do things like “working in shops” and “becoming bishops”.
"The world we have created was forged by hundreds and thousands of years of men – yes, men – going off to war and doing everything women couldn't”, he declared before adding that “someone has really got to do something” – and putting a sexist sign on the front of his blood-splattered B&B should be just the ticket, I’m sure.
It’s not just the prime minister he hates, though – it’s all women: "I hate that Pankhurst woman and all those suffragettes, I just hate the fact that women vote"
But that’s not all Hart is planning – he also wants to stand as a Conservative parliamentary candidate for Beverley and Holderness. But he’s not all too impressed with the Tories at the moment. “Theresa May, the prime minister, should be at home behind the kitchen sink”, he advised. “She has not got a clue.”
It’s not just the prime minister he hates, though – it’s all women: “I hate that Pankhurst woman and all those suffragettes, I just hate the fact that women vote.” Surprisingly, he also resents the fact that women are allowed to drive. “I suppose they can drive a little, they are not very good drivers,” Hart said. Which is strange because of the 3.6 billion women out there, I’d put money on the fact that at least one or two of them are fairly decent at moving a fast, heavy, metal object on wheels around without crashing.
The reviews on TripAdvisor for Hart’s B&B, Minster Garth Guest House, are an absolute treat. As one guest (who stayed there in 2013) commented: “Nice hotel strange owner.” He goes on to explain, “...upon check out we asked for a receipt and he said he had better things to do with his time then to go on his computer and print a receipt, he then had the nerve to ask for an extra tenner for a receipt. Of course we refused but very angry with his attitude, a very strange man and will never stay again.” Another guest commented, “On arrival there was no one to meet us. Called the number and John, proprietor, said he was in the pub and would be about 40 minutes!” Another wrote that when they arrived back at the B&B in the evening, “we were greeted by a plastic bag hanging on the outside of the door containing a duvet cover accompanied by a letter from the proprietor asking us if we wouldn’t mind making the bed ourselves as they hadn’t been able to access the room as we had the only key!”
Rest assured, Hart isn’t the type of person who avoids responding to negative reviews – quite the opposite. In response to one woman’s complaint he replied: “...from the moment she arrived I could tell she would complain, you can always recognise the sort. Husband seemed a nice guy.” On another, he commented: “This negative review is a gross over exaggeration. To say one's weekend is a total disappointment because of a few minor problem's with accommodation is typical of the would be travel critics who produce such drivel for this site.”
Here’s hoping this guy is on Twitter.