Anger over golliwogs on sale in shop

A RACIAL equality campaigner has called for golliwogs being sold in a Suffolk town to be banished from the high street.

Russell Claydon

A RACIAL equality campaigner has called for golliwogs being sold in a Suffolk town to be banished from the high street.

Hamil Clarke, chair of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, has spoken out after complaints were made about the black-faced dolls being sold outside Thing-Me-Bobs in Sudbury.

Mr Clarke has described them as “highly offensive” to black and ethnic minority communities.

“It is offensive,” he said. “All the people I have talked to about it say it is.

“It is not a good thing they have portrayed in the past and it was offensive and it is still offensive.

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“I would really like to complain that they should not be allowed to get away with it. We can only hope the people who sell them recognise the offence it can cause to people.

“It is not too often we see this in Suffolk and I have heard about it in different parts of the country.

“On a scale of one to five of it being offensive I would say it is an eight. It is highly offensive.”

The golliwogs on sticks are being sold by Thing-Me-Bobs, based in Borehamgate Shopping Centre, for �1.99 each.

Mr Clarke added: “It is surprising the mentality of some people who do not know how offensive they can be.”

But Wendy Jee, the manager at Thing-Me-Bobs store in Sudbury said: “There has been quite a high demand for the gollys since we sold out of them last time.

“We have had so many customers from as far away as Colchester coming here for the gollys because it was in another paper in Halstead a while back (about their store in the town) and since then we have had more interest in people wanting them.

“So many customers are coming in for them it is unbelievable. A lot of people had them in their childhood and now want them for their grandchildren.

“There are just a few people who find them offensive which is a shame really.”