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Loughborough market is one of the oldest in Britain, dating back almost 800 years and laying the foundation of the Leicestershire town’s early prosperity and expansion.
Back in the 13th century, it was a major trading centre, attracting buyers and sellers from miles around, a tradition which continues today. Every Friday, Loughborough plays host to a vintage market, with 40 stallholders knocking out a selection of antiques, second-hand books and historical bric-a-brac.
Years - Traders - Tina - Gayle - Round
For the past three years, one of those traders, Tina Gayle, has made a 200-mile, four-hour round trip from Didcot, in Oxfordshire, to flog her wares. Or, rather, she did until last week.
That was before the local council banned her from the market for selling ‘offensive’ items — coffee mugs depicting the ancient order of the Knights Templar. Apparently, someone complained that the mugs celebrated the murder of Muslims during the Crusades. When Tina refused to remove them, the council withdrew her licence.
Knights - Templar - Order - Group - Warrior-monks
The Knights Templar was a chivalrous religious order, a group of warrior-monks, formed to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land from marauding Saracens. They became established in England in the 12th century, to raise money for the Crusades, and officially disbanded a couple of hundred years later.
Now there’s a hate crime, if ever I saw one. I’m surprised the police haven’t got involved. Only a matter of time, I’m sure.
Council - Mugs - Sale
Initially, the council refused to say why, exactly, the mugs should be withdrawn from sale.
Tina soon discovered that (just as she suspected) the complaint had been made by the same individual who had previously objected, back in August, to her selling Nazi memorabilia — mugs, badges, books and so on. We don’t know the identity of this sensitive soul, but clearly the council takes him or her very seriously indeed.
Council - Officers - Tina
After being visited by council officers, Tina agreed to...
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