Sunday, 15 November 2009



there’s a place
in haworth
called the golliwog shop
(that’s not its real name)
i don’t suppose any black people
go in there

it sells two tone records,
swastika armbands
and every size of golliwog a man could ever need

they hang on the counter from
a rack by the till
on thick silver chains
a nice ‘kids-size’ keyring,
like long forgotten strange fruit
from a bygone age
before all this ‘nonsense’
from the p.c brigade

they make me uncomfortable,
these faces I collected
from robertson’s jam in the nineteen seventies
the playing cards, the children’s badges
thankfully banished
to the boxes in the attic

when i look at the golliwogs
hung in the shop
i think of alf garnett, the national front
pissed gorilla men at lower league matches
waving blow up bananas at all the black players
and i wonder if here, in heathcliff’s manor
if i’m the only minority
in the crowd of white faces
who doesn’t agree with this new
‘retro trend’

i leave the shop
wanting to return with a brick for its window
but coming up here
with my ‘london ways’
I scuttle off, red faced
into the wind
wishing i was a braver woman
wishing i could be confrontational,
and throw a hard punch at the golliwog man
but instead, like the coward that i really am
i walk to my car, switch on the radio
and swear at the windscreen
vowing never
to return
here again.

“Relics” is taken from Adelle’s new limited edition signed and numbered chapbook Cigarettes in Bed, published by Blackheath Books and available for a mere £5 alongside other vibrant underground writing at

My thanks to Adelle and to Geraint at Blackheath for their permission to include here.

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