CAMRA axes offensive doll pub from Good Beer Guide

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

A place for everyone: CAMRA removes pub from Good Beer Guide
A place for everyone: CAMRA removes pub from Good Beer Guide

Related tags Social responsibility Beer Health and safety

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has deleted the entry of the White Hart from its Good Beer Guide after the pub chose to display offensive golly dolls.

The pub came to prominence after police seized a collection of golly dolls on 4 April as part of an investigation into an alleged hate crime reported on 24 February. The dolls are regarded as racist as they are based on blackface from 19th​ century minstrelsy.

The pub in Grays previously won the South West Essex CAMRA Pub of the Year Award in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 according to its website.

CAMRA has claimed the pub would not be submitted for forthcoming guides while it continued to operate in a way counter to CAMRA’s values and policies.

Listening ear

However, the pub would remain in CAMRA's What Pub guide, as this was a directory of pubs rather than a recommendation of quality, it said. But, full details were removed.

"This is a brilliant move," added one user, "thank you for listening".  Another said: "Good for you CAMRA. If a pub isn’t inclusive, it’s not really a pub at all." Others claimed the move was "better late than never".

The organisation said discussions were ongoing about local awards which may have been made in contravention of CAMRA policies.

Problems at the pub

This comes after backlash from some Twitter users, after the organisation described an "extensive collection of old-fashioned soft toys" in its writeup of the pub on Whatpub.com.

It then deleted the statement, recognising it as "problematic", and added a disclaimer: "Note this pub has chosen to display items that are considered by many to be offensive".

The move was celebrated by some as taking a strong stance against the situation and enacting a "right and reasonable" outcome.

However, some Twitter users believe CAMRA’s actions had not gone far enough.

The White Hart was vandalised with graffiti and damage to five windows over the weekend, police have said.

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