• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxford’s St Giles’ Fair comes under fire for ‘topless girls’ sign

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 6, 2022

A mum was left shocked that a sign offering free rides to ‘topless girls’ was on display at St Giles’ Fair.

St Giles’ Fair, one of the biggest dates in the Oxford calendar, reopened yesterday September 5.

The fair dates back to 1625 and thousands of people are expected to pour into the city centre for the amusements, food and atmosphere.

READ MORE: Oxford Railway Station to close for improvement works

Oxford Mail: The fair reopened yesterday (September 5)The fair reopened yesterday (September 5)

Marion Delgado visited St Giles’ Fair yesterday with her daughter and friends when they spotted the sign on the waltzers ride.

The sign read “All topless girls ride free” before stating the attraction was £3 per person.

The lewd statement left Ms Delgado’s daughter and friends feeling “uncomfortable” and she thought “no doubt many other girls too” would be made uneasy by the sign.

“Whilst some might see it as a joke, given the sad recent history of grooming in Oxford as well as the pressure on teenage girls and all the recent media coverage about abuse from peers at school it feels wholly inappropriate that one of the rides would feature this,” Ms Delgado said.

Oxford Mail: Picture: Marion Delgado Picture: Marion Delgado

Earlier this morning, a spokesperson for Oxford City Council said: “Oxford City Council has not allowed this kind of signage at St Giles’ Fair for many years.

“We contacted the Showmens’ Guild of Great Britain, who run the Fair, and asked that they rectify this urgently.

“They have confirmed to us that they have contacted the operator and informed them that they are breaking the conditions of their let.

“The attraction will not open until the sign is removed."

Oxford Mail: The city council has said such signs are not allowed The city council has said such signs are not allowed

Following this Joey Noyce, of The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, addressed the situation.

He explained: “The sign was placed in the window in error by one of the staff operating the ride.

“We have identified the ride as Hebborns & Son's Waltzer and spoken to the ride owner who has explained this was meant as a joke and apologized and removed the sign.

“This was an isolated incident and we have found no evidence of any other inappropriate signage at St. Giles Fair.

“We actively monitor rides for these kinds of issues however due to the size of the fair we are not always able to identify something of this nature immediately.

“This is not something The Showmen's Guild condone in any way.

“If there is a repeat of this the attraction will be closed immediately and the appropriate action will be taken by the guild with a possible permanent suspension from attending the fair."

Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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