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The World of Sewing in Tunbridge Wells defends sale of 'Oh My Golly' fabric

A sewing shop has defended the sale of a type of fabric despite claims it is based on a golliwog.

Bosses at The World of Sewing in Tunbridge Wells say the fabric range, named Oh My Golly, is separate to the controversial character created by Florence Kate Upton in the 19th century, and will continue to be sold to customers.

The golliwog, often depicted as a type of rag doll, was once popular in the UK but has since been deemed an anti-black caricature and is widely considered to be racist.

The World of Sewing in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Google (7379151)
The World of Sewing in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Google (7379151)

Yet the shop's owners believe their fabric is not discriminatory, saying the product's name does not use what bosses think is the offensive part of the word golliwog.

Garry Pinkerton, sewing machine manager at the Camden Road store, said: "We don't use the W-word.

"We have a range of fabrics and three of them are based on a golly, which is a grey-skinned, dark-haired kid, similar to an Oompa Loompa [from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory].

"We haven't had any customers complaining to us about this. In the past we've had people object to Halloween fabric, or those featuring the English flag, or an army person.

"I feel it's wrong to censor what we should and shouldn't sell to our customers."

Mr Pinkerton added that some designs within the range have been discontinued by the store's suppliers but those currently available will continue to be sold until stock runs out.

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