Bitter row brews as beer magazine with nude Cerne Abbas giant logo attracts complaints about its laddish appearance
- Camra’s chief Tom Stainer called on The Giant Dongle to change its name
- He said: ‘Things that were acceptable years ago may not be appropriate now’
- It comes after a cheese company was accused of ‘defacing’ the giant’s penis
It’s called the Giant Dongle and features on its front page the Cerne Abbas giant… with his most infamous feature proudly on show.
So it’s perhaps not surprising in this day and age that the magazine for ale drinkers has begun to attract complaints about its laddish appearance.
The Giant Dongle is published by the West Dorset branch of the Campaign for Real Ale – Camra.
Last night Camra’s chief executive Tom Stainer insisted: ‘The issue isn’t with the giant – it’s historic, and a local landmark. It’s the title of the magazine that’s potentially problematic.
‘I’ve spoken to people in the local branch, they appreciate people’s feelings may have changed over time, and they need to listen.
The Cerne Abbas Giant, a 180ft chalk figure cut into the side of a hill, boasts a 35ft manhood and is one of Dorset’s best known landmarks
The Giant Dongle has faced calls to change its name
READ MORE: Dozens of grazing sheep are tasked with restoring historic chalk Cerne Abbas figure after it became shrouded by overgrown grass
‘Up to a third of our 160,000 members are women, and we need to ensure we don’t do anything that puts people off Camra. Things that were acceptable ten years ago may not be appropriate now.’
The Cerne Abbas Giant, a 180ft chalk figure cut into the side of a hill, boasts a 35ft manhood and is one of Dorset’s best known landmarks. He is said to have been created by the Anglo-Saxons in the 8th century.
On the cover of Giant Dongle – which has a circulation of around 2,500 – the giant has been adapted to hold a full pint glass in his left hand.
On the national Camra discussion website, advertising executive John Galpin said of the club logo: ‘It’s immature masculinity. It sends a message that members are little boys who make penis jokes.
‘Any woman seeing that could be excused for thinking Camra is full of men waving their penises around whilst drinking beer.’
Mr Galpin added: At a time when we are trying to be more inclusive it’s totally inappropriate. I for one wouldn’t want anything to do with it.’
The National Trust owns the land where the giant, now a popular tourist landmark, was cut into the chalk
Tour guide Gary Chester said: ‘It brings to mind innuendo-filled saucy postcards from Blackpool.’
READ MORE: Cheese company hits back amid fury over its depiction of famous Cerne Abbas Giant without its penis – saying he has not been made ‘non-binary’
Mr Chester pointed out that, in recent years, Camra had been taking the ‘moral high ground’ by barring beers with sexist and suggestive names from its festivals.
Allowing the Cerne Abbas logo, he added, meant that ‘if nothing else, this shows us not walking the talk’.
Fellow Camra member Will Larter said the logo and magazine title were ‘puerile and offensive’.
The publication should consider changing its name to the inoffensive ‘ConCerne-ing Beer & Pubs’, he suggested.
However, there was support for the use of the giant and the magazine’s name, with West Dorset member Alexandra Bardswell saying: ‘I think it’s great and funny on a magazine, including the word Dongle.’
Tony Wells, a Camra member from Kent, added: ‘I suspect that in 13 years no objections have been raised regarding its name and logo.’
West Dorset Camra chairman Bruce Mead responded: ‘These points were already a topic of discussion. We will continue this at a meeting, taking into consideration the views expressed.’
Last night, Richard Gabe, spokesman for the West Dorset branch, said: ‘We are in an on-going discussion with our local membership into this issue and will seek to do any appropriate action.’
The National Trust owns the land where the giant, now a popular tourist landmark, was cut into the chalk.
The trust believes it was created more than a thousand years ago in late Saxon times. It has been argued that his manhood was a later addition, perhaps designed to ridicule 17th century republican Oliver Cromwell.
In June, there were claims that the Oxford Cheese Company had emasculated the giant on a logo which it used on packs of its Cerne Abbas Cheddar by removing his manhood.
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