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Calls to remove Blackboy clock in Stroud


A Grade II-listed building in the town of Stroud features a sculpture of a small boy painted black with red lips standing above a clock. The sculpture was made by a local watchmaker John Miles in 1774, and in 1844 it was moved to its current site which was once the National School for Girls.

Following the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Artist Dan Guthrie complained about the statue to Stroud District Council.

The council is now looking into the future of the artwork above the “black boy clock”.

A report has already concluded "there is, without any doubt, an association, either directly, or indirectly, with the slave trade and colonialism, and this cannot be ignored".

The report also found that the piece may be one of only 20 works of its kind in the UK.

Guthrie said: "My eyes lock onto the Blackboy clock every time I turn the corner onto Castle Street.

"The boy has huge red lips and is wearing a golden leaf skirt - and he is weirdly enslaved to the clock mechanism when it's working.

“It is an offensive racist relic from the transatlantic slave trade, and the fact that it is still up in Stroud is a mystery to me."