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Blackboy plaque removed

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The plaque below the controversial Blackboy clock has been removed.

A Stroud Times reader contacted us after noticing the plaque had gone.

The reader who didn’t want to be named, said: “It certainly looks like a blatant act of vandalism and I don’t think the council have removed it. I now the feelings surrounding the clock run high, but this isn’t the right way to go about things.”

Last summer, anti-racism campaigners called for the removal of a clock statue they believe “glamourises the slave trade”.

The Blackboy clock is 247 years old and sits on the side of the Grade II listed building in Castle Street.

IMG 1819 rotated | Blackboy plaque removed
The railings, were the plaque has been removed
124357529 036d4f9e f163 478f 8437 6a5c9c96060e | Blackboy plaque removed
The plaque before it was removed

Blackboy Clock is a mechanised figure of a Black child dressed in a leaf skirt, holding a club with which used to strike a bell on the hour.

Made in 1774 by watchmaker John Miles, the figure’s lips are bright red and accentuated as was commonplace in historic, racist depictions of Black people.

The district council had started a consultation asking for people’s views on the figure.

Campaigners Stroud Against Racism said that the statue is “clearly racist” and that point didn’t need discussing.

A Stroud District Council spokesperson said: “A member of the public recently made us aware that the plaque has been removed but we do not know why it has been taken down. If the owners of the building believe it has been removed without their permission, they should contact the police.”

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