"We are open and honest enough to say we got this one wrong."
Written by Megan Cox and Liam Coleman of the Loughborough Echo
11:38, 13 OCT 2017
Charnwood Borough Council have apologised after banning a market trader for selling Knights of Templar coffee mugs. (Image: Loughborough Echo)
CHARNWOOD Borough Council has made an apology over the controversy caused by banning a market trader because she was selling Knights Templar coffee mugs.
A spokesperson from the council said that they “got this one wrong.”
Market stall holder, Tina Gayle, who had previously appeared in the Echo defending her right to sell WWII books and memorabilia sporting swastikas and photos of Adolf Hitler, was banned from having a stand in the town centre after selling the “offensive” mugs.
The Echo reported in August that the borough council had intended to write to Tina Gayle, who has been selling predominately vintage books and history books at Loughborough market for almost three years, following “several complaints” (From the same person!) about Second World War items “which could be deemed offensive to some”.
At the time, Ms Gayle told the Echo the items aid many of her customers who take part in WWII re-enactments and help them accurately portray characters.
READ MORE Coffee mugs declared to be offensive
Banned for Offensive Coffee Mugs
But a week ago, Friday, October 6, she was further told she could no longer trade at any Loughborough market, as concerns had been raised about her selling Knights Templar coffee mugs.
The mugs feature a drawing of a knight and are branded with the Latin motto which translates to: “Not to us Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give the glory.”
At the time Ms Gayle told the Echo: “The council gave me a letter at 4pm and said I’m banned.
“The complainant said they were offensive because the Knights Templar killed Muslims in the crusades 710 years ago. The Knights Templar were fighting monks, used to protect businessmen travelling across the Holy Lands.”
The Echo's story over the ban has been national news this week.
But now, today (October 13) Charnwood Borough Council has released a statement saying: “Regarding the media articles about the trader being banned from the vintage market in Loughborough, we would like to clarify our position.
“Firstly, we would like to apologise. We are open and honest enough to say we got this one wrong. We did receive a complaint because someone was offended by the mugs, but we do not find the mugs offensive. “Our main issue was that it is a vintage market and these items were new when we only want vintage or used items on sale.
“We communicated that poorly to the trader and we will be reviewing how this happened to learn lessons for the future. We will also be speaking to the trader involved.
“We apologise for any upset caused and we acted in what we thought was the best interests of Loughborough’s markets.”
Meeting with Market Manager
Tina attended a meeting with the Markets Manager Mr Bird and the Head of Leisure Services on Thursday 19th October.
The Bookstall has been reinstated on the Friday Vintage Market, with a proviso that any products which are not books, must be at least twenty years old. This prohibits selling these coffee mugs or the Knights Templar T Shirts at Loughborough Market, which have been sold there since August 2016. .
Tina said: " My usual eclectic collection of rare, out of print and 1st Editions, specialising in historical subjects of all eras, will be available as usual - including a brand new range of garden stones from the local Charnwood, Mercia, geological area, dating back to the Cambrian period which will cost £8.90 each, complete with a FREE ceramic holder in a choice of two colours! "