Sales of golliwogs quadruple

A STORE which has sparked controversy in Suffolk for selling black-faced golliwogs has vowed to up its orders in the wake of public backing.

Russell Claydon

A STORE which has sparked controversy in Suffolk for selling black-faced golliwogs has vowed to up its orders in the wake of public backing.

Thing-Me-Bobs in Sudbury have been at the centre of a war of words over their sale of the black-faced dolls after a leading racial equality campaigner said they should be stripped from the shelves for causing offence.

But since we ran the story on Friday the joint store managers say they have seen a surge in support for the �1.99 dolls on sticks, used as scarecrows, leading them to increase the amount they are stocking.


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They estimate sales have quadrupled since Hamil Clarke, chair of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, made his comments, where he described the offence level on a scale of one to five as an eight.

Wendy Jee, one of the joint managers, said they had received a sack full of letters from all across the country since the story made national headlines urging them to “stand firm”.

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She said: “They have been selling very well. We had 39 come in on Friday we put them out first thing on Saturday morning and by the end of the day they had all gone. Normally we would have expected to sell two or three a week.

“Our Saturday staff said they could have sold that batch ten times over there was so much interest.

“We have small plant pot ones we put out this morning - about a dozen - and they have all gone in just a day too.”

Margaret Dean, who also manages the store, said: “We have had a letter from a lady who has been to Africa where they are making and selling them and it just goes to show they do not mind at all.

“It seems to me it is the white people complaining who are going over the top being politically correct.”

She said on the day the article appeared they also had a coloured man from London come into the store and buy three of the dolls, saying he was delighted to have found a place selling them.

She added: “Everyone wants them now because they know where they can get them from.”

Both of the managers said they sell “gollys” rather than golliwogs and have lined up a large order of up to 36 which is due in today.

The row over the black-faced dolls on sale in Suffolk comes after Carol Thatcher was axed from The One Show on the BBC after using the term golliwog in a private conversation with a fellow presenter to refer to tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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