Thursday, June 20, 2024

Vandals target White Hart pub as windows smashed

FOLLOWING a controversial decision to visit a Grays pub and confiscate a number of golly dolls and other memorabilia, Essex Police officers found themselves back at the premises after bricks were hurled through its windows.

The incident happened close to closing time last night (Saturday, 15 April) when just a few drinkers and landlady Benice Ryley were in the pub on Argent Street.

A number of panes of glass were broken by the throwers who then fled.

Police arrived soon after and returned today to continue their investigations into the incident, which left Mrs Ryley ‘shaken’.

The controversy around the decision to remove the dolls and other materials, which have been displayed at the pub for many years continues – with supporters of the pub and its critics who describe the display as racist and offensive clashing on social media.

And despite the popular town centre pub having won many awards from real ale loving organisation CAMRA while displaying the dolls, chiefs at the organisation have now condemned the White Hart, rebuked its local representatives and said the pub will not be considered for further awards should it replace the missing dolls or display them again if returned by police.

CAMRA says it has previously told its members not to nominate the pub for honours.

A statement says: “We are currently discussing why this guidance was seemingly ignored by our South West Essex branch and have instructed them not to consider the White Hart for future awards, or inclusion in our Good Beer Guide, while these discriminatory dolls continue to be on display.

“CAMRA believes pubs should be welcoming and inclusive places and it’s baffling that any pub would choose to discriminate against customers or potential customers by continuing to display offensive material.

“We have had clear national guidelines in place since 2018 that no pub should be considered for an award if it displays offensive or discriminatory material on the premises, or on social media associated with the pub.

“CAMRA has more than 200 branches, all of which make independent decisions about making numerous awards to pubs and breweries throughout the year.”

Report courtesy of Thurrock Nub News.

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