Support for centre selling golly dolls

Golly (Golliwog) toy. July 11th 2013 E28303P
Golly (Golliwog) toy. July 11th 2013 E28303P

Support has flooded in for a venue which is selling a golliwog doll after a tourist complained about the item being on sale.

The story, covered in last week’s Herald, has led to dozens of comments from people after Derek McMillan questioned why it was on offer at the Beachy Head Countryside Centre.

The dolls can offend people who believe them to be a racist caricature of a black person.

As the centre said it will continue to sell the dolls, known as Golly Dollies, residents got in touch to say they saw no harm with it being on the shelves.

Mike Jefferies, a director and trustee of the centre, last week told the Herald they had proven popular and there was no racist intent at all.

This week he said, “The dolls will still be on sale. We see no reason to discontinue the sale of the dolls.

“The committee of the centre wishes to thank all concerned for their interest and support and does not wish to make any further comments.”

While two readers criticised the dolls as a product of our racist past (see the letters page), the majority said they did not see a problem them with them being on sale.

Ian Donald, who sells the gollys at his shop Gifts at The Pier, said, “It’s not racist as far as I can see. I can’t see any difference between a golly and a white rag doll. I just think it’s a big fuss over nothing.”

Resident Andrew Dakyns added, “When I was quite small, like most English children, I remember being very fond of my golliwog.

“There was never any suggestion then that a golliwog represented an insult to black people – quite the reverse. I was delighted to learn from last week’s Herald that the Beachy Head Countryside Centre sells gollies, where they are in great demand. Long may it continue.”

Online Esmerelda said, “We lived in West Africa for five years and one time I was asked to take one back for a family of West Africans for their daughter.

“She loved it dearly.”