Arcades Leeds Dec 2007
Sorry this post is not totally dreamy, dreamy xmassy it’s more on the “goodwill to all men begin and never cease end of things”.
I was in Leeds last week and wandered round the town centre, had a nice glass of porter in North bar, gawped at how expensive the vinyl in Relics is nowadays and took some pictures. I was in one of the Arcades buying a comic (more of which later) when I saw this place. I initially took the picture as example of an avalanche of festive kitsch.
On looking closer it all became a bit horrid, yes your eyes aren’t deceiving you there among the porcelain faces is a GOLLYWOG. This would be grim enough but this place’s sister shop a few yards up the arcade has about 10 or so of them. (Sorry my picture didn’t come out.)
So let’s get this straight Mary Shortle of Leeds and York is selling racist toys.
I’m sure people like this will justify their collections in all sorts of ways “some nonsense about them not being about black people” or “they are from another age with different values” or “its pc gone mad”, “we call them gollys nowadays” and sure they use to be on jam jars etc but they are wrong. The ones they are selling are probably brand new not antiques so bang goes the “saving a complex social history” argument.
This isn’t a call for revisionism, just outrage that the suffering of countless millions can continue to be trivialised by the misguided and lets be honest the openly racist.