A pub landlord has refused to remove 15 golliwogs from behind his bar despite complaints to the council.
Chris Ryley and his wife Benice said they were left reeling after the local authority received an anonymous complaint about the White Hart pub in Grays, Essex.
The couple face a nervous wait to see if their licence will be effected but have also promised not to back down after receiving the dolls as gifts from customers.
They are unaware of who made the anonymous complaint but believe it was an employee from Thurrock Council who popped in for lunch.
Chris Ryley and his wife Benice said they were left reeling after the council received an anonymous complaint about golliwogs behind the bar at the White Hart pub in Grays, Essex
The pub, just a stone’s throw from The River Thames, has 15 golliwogs of various sizes in full view behind the bar
The couple also claim that the same whistleblower called police claiming the golliwogs represent a racially aggravated crime.
The pub, just a stone’s throw from The River Thames, has 15 golliwogs of various sizes in full view behind the bar.
The issue of whether or not the controversial dolls are racist often sparks fierce debate.
Many people hark back to fond childhood memories of the dolls, whereas younger people traditionally argue that golliwogs are a racist icon of a bygone age.
Mr Ryley, 59, said: ‘The head of licensing at the council phoned to tell me a complaint had been made and said the same person had also gone to the police.
‘He asked if I would consider taking them down. I was shocked – I told the council I would think about it but I cannot see how I have committed an offence so they are here to stay.
‘Since we have had them up behind the bar in the past three years, there has only ever been two complaints.
Some people hark back to fond childhood memories of the dolls, whereas others argue golliwogs are a racist icon of a bygone age
The couple are unaware of who made the anonymous complaint but believe it was an employee from Thurrock Council who popped in for lunc
‘One was from a Canadian lady who said “those would not be allowed back in my country” and another was from an English woman who insisted they were racist, despite no-one else in the pub agreeing with her, including a black man who was drinking in here at the time.
‘It’s all about political correctness isn’t it? Children can’t play conkers anymore or have snowball fights in case they are hurt.
‘The council has enough things to be getting on with, rather than worrying about this. The golliwogs are staying up.