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​'Racist’ Figure Has Been Removed From Pub Sign Following Calls For It To Be Taken Down

​'Racist’ Figure Has Been Removed From Pub Sign Following Calls For It To Be Taken Down

It is not clear whether officials or Ashbourne residents were involved in the head’s removal, but locals claim permission was granted

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

The 'racist' figure has now been removed from the sign for Ashbourne pub The Green Man And Black's Head Inn, following calls for it to be pulled down.

Yesterday, Derbyshire Dales District Council confirmed the black-coloured head would be removed from the sign as it had become a 'public safety concern'.

While a spokesman for the authority said other bodies and officials would need to be consulted before it could be taken down, and simply said yesterday it would happen 'soon', last night locals in the area shared photographs and video footage of the removal taking place.

The sign for the Green Man And Black's Head Inn.

Locals claim permission had been 'granted', with Derbyshire Live reporting from the scene: "The head is coming down now. Two Ashbourne residents have climbed ladders to remove it and bring it down with them.

"They were furiously congratulated by bystanders and applauded. But one person shouted 'Black Lives Matter' the moment it came down."

One local called Mark Redfern shared photos on a local Facebook page, writing: "The head is now safe on the ground and in secure storage. The people of Ashbourne will give the head a lick of black paint and fully restore why we have the opportunity [sic].

"Permission was granted to remove which took some getting. The People of Ashbourne have done this only to save The head from vandalism. The head will be reinstalled at a later date."

Facebook/Ashbourne Selling Page

A statement from Derbyshire Dales District Council said: "We were made aware last night (8 June) by one of our own Ashbourne councillors that approximately 150 locals had gathered by The Green Man & Black's Head sign in the town.

"The councillor was able to speak to the group and explain our position - that we needed to take urgent action to take down the 'head' figure temporarily in the interests of public safety ahead of a consultation.

"The group, who had ladders, then decided they would remove the figure themselves for safe keeping and, not wanting to create a confrontation, in the circumstances we did not object.

"The sign was gifted to the District Council a number of years ago and we expect to have possession of the head figure later today.

"We need to decide the next steps, including any consultation process. For clarity, if any decision was taken in the future to remove the head permanently, it would need listed building consent and, as a Grade II* listed structure, would require consultation with Historic England. Because it has a Grade II* listing, we cannot grant consent to ourselves without referral."

Earlier this week, a petition for the figured to be removed from the pub sign was signed by more than 40,000 people.

Rebecca Jordan, who started the campaign on, said she was disgusted by its presence in the town and that it should have been torn down long ago.

"This kind of disgusting racist imagery has NO place in 2020 and should have been removed many many years ago," she wrote.

A counter-petition was also set up calling to 'keep the Black's Head in Ashbourne', and this has currently been signed by 3,663 people at the time of writing.

The petition said: "The Black's Head should be kept because of the history for the town and that it should only be looked at as a reminder of what times was.

"The Black's Head is a tourist attraction from being constructed back in 1825 when the Green Man and the Black Inn more were joined together, also due to holding the Guinness world record of being the longest inn sign."

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Ashbourne Selling Page

Topics: UK News, News