...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
Police are investigating after a pub that had displayed golliwog dolls had its windows and door smashed by vandals.
The White Hart Inn in Grays, Essex, had been visited by police after an anonymous complaint about the collection of 15 dolls.
Last week, the toys were confiscated as a suspected hate crime.
Benice Ryley, 61, was left shaken after a brick was thrown through the pub’s window while she and several customers were inside.
Essex Police have confirmed that damage linked to the dolls is one line of inquiry.
District Commander Tony Atkin stated that patrols will be conducted in the area to provide community reassurance.
Enquiries are ongoing to establish what happened and to identify those responsible, including viewing CCTV footage.
One line of inquiry is that the criminal damage is linked to a previous incident that police are currently investigating, also linked to the White Hart Inn.
CAMRA, a real ale organisation, said the pub would not be considered for further awards if the dolls were put back on display.
CAMRA’s spokesperson stated that pubs should be welcoming and inclusive places, and it is baffling that any pub would choose to discriminate against customers or potential customers by continuing to display offensive material.
Bernice, who runs the pub with her husband, Chris, previously demanded the dolls be immediately returned and has vowed to put them back behind the bar.
She stated that the police were taking away information that is literally the history of the country.
She argued that they have not broken any laws by displaying the dolls, and they are happy to call them dolls, not golliwogs.