Pub that displayed golliwog dolls after attack forced to close after boycott
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The landlords of the White Hart Inn in Essex, which was raided by police last month for displaying golliwog dolls, have closed the pub.
Police, who were tipped off about an alleged hate crime in the pub, uncovered and confiscated 15 of the offensive dolls and are still investigating.
Benice and Chris Riley, who have owned the White Hart for 20 years, have vowed to get their dolls back, which they say were donated by customers over the years.
A spokesperson for Essex Police confirmed at the time: "We are investigating an allegation of hate crime in Grays reported to us on 24 February. On Tuesday, 4 April, we attended a location off Argent Street, Grays, and seized several items in connection with our investigation."
After news spread of the discovery, the White Hart was vandalised with white paint and several windows have been damaged.
Not only that, but Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) have removed the pub from their Good Beer Guide and suppliers Heineken and Carlsberg have told the pub to stop serving their product.
Now, the couple have confirmed that they intend to close down the pub once and for all.
Speaking to Thurrock Nub News, Benice said that she and her husband have 'had enough'.
On Monday, 1 May, which was her and Chris's last day of ownership over the pub before they closed their doors, she said: "I feel gutted, totally and utterly gutted. Hurt, upset.
"We've had a few bits of hate, which I personally don't understand.
"The young people these days don't understand, from years ago where the Gollys originated from, it's such a shame. That's my collection. They're antiques, some of them. I want them back."
She added: "I'm gonna miss the pub. I'm gonna miss the people. We've had so many laughs in here. We've had so much happiness in here.
"I can probably count on one hand the problems we've ever had in here."
Benice's husband Christopher is currently abroad, and is not planning to return until the middle of May.
When he returns, Benice has said that she hopes to speak more on the pub, and get her dolls back.
She said: "Chris has still got to be questioned on the 18th of May so I can get my Gollys back and let's see if he's going to be charged with anything."