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15th Apr 2023

Cafe owner defends decision to sell golli*** dolls

Callum Boyle

He claimed he had sold ‘hundreds of them’

A cafe owner has hit back after he was reported to the police for selling “racist” golli*** dolls.

The cafe in question, Old Manor Cafe, Norfolk, claimed that the dolls were “souvenirs” and that he had sold “hundreds of them” to customers.

They were reported to police last year after complains from customers said that the decision to sell the dolls was “morally unacceptable”.

One customer said: “We recently dropped in for a bite to eat and were shocked to find these openly on show and available for purchase.

“These racially stereotypical caricatures have been morally unacceptable in this country for years. But not in Norfolk, it would appear. They are racially divisive and antisocial.”

Despite the backlash, the owner, who asked to remain anonymous, defended the decision.

“For starters, they’re called gollies. But it’s okay for people to complain about them. It is their right,” he said.

In addition to the dolls, the cafe also features other figurines such as Betty Boop and Great Yarmouth fishermen. 

“People aren’t complaining about the other things I have on display. They’re not seeing the whole picture,” he added.

“I sold 12 of them to a black bloke from Brixton, and he superglued them all to his dashboard. 

“He loved them.”

Golli*** dolls are based on 18th century minstrels and now regarded as racist caricatures of Black people.

Earlier this month Essex Police confiscated a number of the dolls from the White Hart Inn in Gray’s, Essex, as part of their investigation into a hate crime complaint on February 24.

The pub has since been removed from the Good Beer Guide and will not be allowed to enter any future guides whilst it continues to display the dolls.

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