Whilst at The Jug & Bottle, I picked up a copy of York CAMRA's excellent newsletter Ouse Boozer. In it I found an advert for Haxby Working Mens' Club. It turns out Haxby was less than five miles from where we were staying, and also hosted a Good Beer Guide listed pub The Tiger Inn.
Armed with my CIU card, we therefore went there on the Sunday afternoon, and found the WMC down a narrow street. The large car park was fairly deserted, but a table full of drinkers outside showed us that the club was open for business. Unlike my local club, the door was not receptible to a push or a pull; in fact it was necessary to push a buzzer attached to a CCTV camera to be allowed entry. In spite of our unknown faces, the door was remotely unlocked and in walked the four of us. The entrance lobby had a few fruit machines and doors to the left and to the right. Short of tossing a coin to deceide which way to head, we plumped for the left hand route. The large room in which we found ourselves was resplendent in its large screen television showing Motors TV, and occupied only by a card playing school of male customers. I walked to the bar to peruse the pump clips - Tetley, John Smith's and Ossett Silver King were my disappointing three choices - and the barmaid walked towards us. From the card table came the unexpected call of "Are you gonna tell 'em or shall we?". What crime had we committed? Was the bar about to close? Were children not allowed? No nothing as trivial as any of that. It transpired we were in a men only bar. I thought such things were the property of Lords' Cricket Ground and golf clubhouses only, but no. Here we were in Yorkshire, and my wife and two daughters were the wrong sex to drink in that particular room. We were good humouredly shown into a lounge where persons of both persuasions (and hopefully hermaphrodites too) were allowed, where I had an underpar pint of the Ossett, after which we slunk out to the pub.
In all fairness I saw one of the men from the other room as I went to sign the visitors' book, and he was quite apologetic, and my wife found the sexism quite 'quaint'.
We encountered no such sexism in the pub which is a Samuel Smiths house. Therefore cheap prices and just one real ale were the order of the day. My Old Brewery Bitter was suitably dry, and reasonably tasty and just £1.77 a pint - dearer than the beer in the club.
I shan't forget my trip to Haxby in a hurry. I don't know if men only bars are commonplace in Northern clubs; it's certainly a new one on me.