Racism probe over “golliwog” mask at show

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COUNCIL bosses are due to announce the results of an investigation into a potential racially offensive incident at a festival, after a brass band member allegedly wore a ‘golliwog-style’ mask.

Stan Lippeatt, of Hatfield Brass Band, allegedly wore the mask during a rendition of Hello Dolly at the Bolsover Festival of Brass, at the Heritage School, Clowne, and forced organisers Bolsover District Council to launch a probe.

A council spokesman said: “We were made aware of a potential racially offensive incident and launched an investigation. This is the first we have ever had of this kind at our events and we do not condone and will not tolerate this type of behaviour.”

Following the alleged incident, on October 7, flugelhorn player Mr Lippeatt resigned as chairman of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators which stated, according to brass website 4barsrest.com, that he had admitted to wearing the mask during a performance conducted by Hatfield band’s Graham O’Connor. Both, according to 4barsrest.com, were suspended from ABBA for 12 months and have issued apologies. ABBA said it has been informed there was no malicious intent.

A spokesman for ABBA said: “The grossly misguided actions of these two members highlighted a potentially serious problem in terms of the acceptance of, or allowance of a variety of attitudes and practices that have no place.”

Mr Lippeatt said: “It was a play on words mixing up Dolly and Golly and there was no intention to upset anyone. It was innocent fun and not intended as racist and anyone who knows me knows I’m not that sort of person.” Mr O’Connor was unavailable for comment.