Pub at centre of golly dolls row shuts for good as owners move to home in Turkey

3 May 2023, 17:27 | Updated: 3 May 2023, 17:33

The landlady said she "doesn&squot;t understand" the public reaction.
The landlady said she "doesn't understand" the public reaction. Picture: Alamy/Thurrock Nub News/Facebook

By Jenny Medlicott

The pub at the centre of a racist row has shut its doors for good after boycott from suppliers, as the owners prepare to move to their holiday home in Turkey.

The White Hart pub has closed down permanently after it was reported for a hate crime violation last month for displaying a collection of racist dolls behind the bar.

Following the backlash, the pub’s suppliers boycotted the Essex venue, including Heineken and Carlsberg, as they said they didn’t want their larger to be served there anymore.

Meanwhile, maintenance company Innserve also refused to work on its site.

A spokesman for Heineken said of the pub: “After being made aware of the abhorrent display feature in the White Hart Inn, we advised the pub owners that we want nothing more to do with them.

“They go against everything we stand for.

"We believe pubs should be places of inclusivity and respect for all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion or gender."

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In an interview with Thurrock Nub News, Benice Ryley commented on the decision to shut the pub.
In an interview with Thurrock Nub News, Benice Ryley commented on the decision to shut the pub. Picture: Thurrock Nub News

Camra, a consumer organisation for beer and ales, also removed the pub from its Good Beer Guide over the incident.

Elaborating on the decision to close the pub in an interview with Thurrock Nub news, landlady Benice Ryley said: “I’ve had enough.

“We’ve had a few bits of hate, which I personally don’t understand because it’s part of our life.

“The young people these days don’t understand.”

The couple are now planning to move to their holiday home in Turkey.

Police seized the collection of roughly 30 dolls on April 4.

Just two days after the police intervention, the building was hit by vandals, as it was covered in white paint and had its windows smashed.

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Police opened an investigation into the reported hate crime, which they said is still ongoing.
Police opened an investigation into the reported hate crime, which they said is still ongoing. Picture: Facebook

“At this stage our investigation is still ongoing,” Essex Police said of the hate crime report.

Ms Ryley said the offensive dolls had been sat in the White Hart pub for almost 10 years, as she received the collection from her late aunt and customers of the pub.

"If they don't like it, they don't have to come through the door," she told the BBC at the time.

Benice also put up a sign outside the pub reading: “We have golly dolls displayed inside on our shelves. If you feel offended. Please do not enter."

Responding to the owners’ decision to shut the pub, the owner of the pub building, Admiral Taverns, said: “The licensees have made us aware of their decision to leave the pub.

"We will be looking to reopen the pub under the management of new licensees."

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