Nude knitted charity display censored after complaints over doll ‘genitals’

'The Hive Five' on display in The Hive café and haberdashery in Shepton Mallet, Somerset before being censored
'The Hive Five' on display in The Hive café and haberdashery in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, before being censored - JASON BRYANT/APEX

A group of knitters have been forced to cover up five naked Morris dancer dolls on display in their club window following complaints.

The dolls, of a policeman, vicar, a Rastafarian, a bearded man and a woman with pearls, were originally positioned in the front window of The Hive café and haberdashery in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, dancing around a maypole wearing only hats and bells around their ankles.

Mike Alford, the café owner, said they had been knitted by a group of “mature ladies” for a “bit of fun” to help raise funds for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Service.

However, a woman complained  on social media about the dolls’ appearance, saying she did not want her grandchildren “looking at genitals on their way to school”.

The café has now covered up the dolls’ “genitals” with placards informing passers-by of the fundraiser.

A campaign has since been set up on Facebook by locals to “Save the Hive Five”.

Bath’s Roman statues show more than ‘our little window’

Mr Alford said the women had been following knitting patterns from the book Nudinits: Bare-bottomed Fun from the Village of Woolly Bush by Sarah Simi.

He told the BBC: “A couple of people that obviously use the route go to the school and they said it was inappropriate to be in the window going to school.

“We felt that it was unjustified to a certain degree. Say you went to Bath, the Roman Baths, there are more statues there, if you went on a school outing, that have got more things showing than we do in our little window.”

He said the women had put “a lot of work” into the display, explaining: “It is the first window they put in for this year, and it has caused a bit of a stir amongst a couple of people but for one figure it takes about one week. It takes a while to do and they are not easy at all.

“In retrospect, we’ve made about £100 for the charity just today with people trotting in.”