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Ann Squires of the family business Squires Antiques in Faversham said the 'open' sign, a typical 'dumb waiter' butler holding a tray from the 1920s, had been used to attract visitors to the shop for 35 years.

A single individual using Twitter prompted a debate that the dealer described as "very distressing". The visitor to the town took a photo of the sign and posted it online over a weekend with the caption: Faversham in 2015 folks FFS.

The shop owners were informed of the backlash and the sign was quickly removed - much the chagrin of many residents who deemed it part of the town's familiar street furniture. Ann Squires told ATG: "The whole of Faversham has been through the door to say how ridiculous this has been. But I'm not in the business of upsetting anybody so the sign can go."


• Should blackamoors be confined to the dustbin of history? Let us know at editorial@atgmedia.com