Time's up for 'Blackboy' clock

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Time's up for 'Blackboy' clock

An English council faces a backlash over plans to tear down a 'racist relic' depicting a black child with a club and leaf skirt - after locals slammed a 'minority of loud voices constantly finding things to be outraged at'.

The sculpture is located on the side of a Grade II listed building named Blackboy House in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and strikes a bell on the hour.

Stroud District Council pledged to review the names of buildings, statues and streets 'that may be considered offensive' a day after the Edward Colston statue was toppled by Black Lives Matter protestors in nearby Bristol in June 2020.

A report into the history of the clock found it was likely to be one of only 20 surviving examples of its kind in the UK.

It was created by by John Miles in 1774 and has been in various locations of the town before being moved to its current site in 1844. 

The council's report could not verify the boy was a depiction of a slave, but it said: 'Whatever the inspiration or its origins, it has to be remembered that, without a doubt, the boy’s image came directly or indirectly through the influence of slavery and colonialism.'

A subsequent public opinion survey has found it causes 'pain and offence',  with a local anti-racism campaign group long calling for the statue to be taken down.

Stroud District Council is now set to recommend it be removed and instead displayed in a museum following an eight-week consultation.

Stroud District Council is also set to negotiate with the owner of Blackboy House over the renaming of the building, while a review of the street name 'Blackboys' in nearby Dursley will also be discussed by the council next week as part of a series of recommendations.

 

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