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The 12th North Devon Scouts Barnstaple Carnival Float 1980

The 12th North Devon Scouts Barnstaple Carnival Float 1980 /media/flashcomm?action=mediaview&context=normal&id=402

From a time when such displays were not considered at all 'inappropriate' comes a photograph of the 12th North Devon Scouts Barnstaple Carnival float in 1980. It celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Robertson's Golly.

Just before World War I, John Robertson (son of founder James Robertson) was on a tour of the United States when he noticed many young children playing with little black rag dolls with white eyes, made from their mothers' discarded black skirts and white blouses. The black golly first appeared in their literature in 1910. However, it wasn't until 1930 that it first appeared as a series of brooches which became, and still are, highly collectable. Recognised as a racist icon in the 1990s, production stopped in 2001 and Robertson's officially 'retired' the Golly in 2002.

Thanks to Joyce Horton and Peter Bray for this photograph.

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