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Double Golliwog shocker as shops exposed for selling dolls

PICTURED: Golliwogs in The Cedars gift shop in Gloucestershire (Photo credit: Conor Fogarty / Gloucestershire Live)

A CANCER Research shop based in Glasgow has sparked outrage after it placed a golliwog doll in its window display.

Golliwog's, which were created in the late 19th century by Florence Upton and were frequently described as a “horrid sight, the blackest gnome”, are known for their racist connotations and minstrel characterisation of black people - and one customer complained after she spotted the offensive toy in the window.

“In this day and age, when we should be seeing black people as equal to white people, something that represents the evil history of slavery should not be being sold in a shop today,” Fatima Uygun, of Govanhill Against Racism, told the Glasgow Evening Times.

“At best it is complete ignorance of the history of black people and their barbaric oppression and at worst it is perpetuating the negative image of black people as lesser than white people.”

According to the Scottish publication, bosses thanked the customer who raised their concerns over the doll at the store.

Cancer Research UK issued a full apology, saying it was “never our intention to cause offence or distress”.

“We’d like to apologise for the offence this may have caused and thank the customer who brought this to our attention,” spokeswoman Lisa Adams said.

“The item has now been removed from the shop and will not be sold. It was never our intention to cause offence or distress. We greatly value all our customers and the contribution they make towards helping fund vital research to beat cancer sooner.

“Cancer Research UK would not be able to carry out any of its lifesaving work without the support of the community, who both shop in our stores and who considerately make donations to them.”


This is one of many recent sitings of golliwog dolls still being sold in stores. The Cotswolds Dogs & Cats Home, an affiliate of the RSPCA, stopped selling the racist dolls last month after receiving complaints from angry customers.

And a Gloucestershire shop owner was called out for selling golliwogs after an investigation by Gloucestershire Live.

John Weir, who runs The Cedars with wife Sue, told Gloucestershire Live on Monday (Aug 6) the gift shop stopped selling the dolls months ago - however, the publication found 10 golliwogs on sale in the shop on Saturday (Aug 4).

The Cedars’ large golliwog was priced at £16.99, the two medium dolls at £8.99, the four small ones at £5.99 and the three on keyrings at £4.99.

Despite obtaining evidence, Mr Weir insisted that the dolls are no longer being sold at his shop and stated that they are "popular" and his customers are not racist.

“I don’t sell them anymore because I don’t like the way people try to change what they represent. I am tired of it being brought up. The golly is popular. Our customers are not racist people. They just remember them from a time before they became a problem.

"The reason I did sell them was the sentimental side to them. They are a very much-loved character," Mr Weir added. "I was born in the 1960s and I remember that. There was never any link to racism."

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