Letter slams pub Halloween decorations while atrocities happen in Gaza

A pub landlady received a letter slamming her “horrific” decision to put up Halloween decorations while “atrocities happen in Gaza”.

Heather Skipper was left in tears after receiving the anonymous letter in the post on October 26. It came after she had decorated her pub The Royal Oak in Penclawdd, in Swansea.

The 59-year-old had decked the boozer out in the hope of helping punters enjoy the spooky season. But the landlady said the letter “took the wind out of her sails” and made her want to “rip them all down”.

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The anonymous poison pen letter sent to the former Come Dine With Me contestant read: "With all the cruelty and atrocities going on in the world, why would you want to put such horrific things outside your pub? Penclawdd residents do not want that. We are better than that."

Heather believes her tormenter means the atrocities occurring in Gaza. But had a firm message to the writer, stating “'if you've got nowt good to say keep your mouth shut”.

Heather, originally from Sheffield but now living in Penclawdd, Swansea, said: "When I got the letter I cried, I nearly ripped them all down. It took the wind out of my sails. I thought 'Maybe I'm doing wrong because I'm an English girl in a Welsh village'.

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"If it wasn't for a member of staff I think I would have taken it all down. I put the letter on Facebook to see what response I got. If it was all negative then yeah I would have taken them down but I've not had one bad comment.

"I think they're referring to what's going on in Gaza. It's probably someone who might not like embracing Halloween or they could have lost somebody dear to them and it's upsetting, I don't know.”

She explained that in previous years she has never had a complaint over her choices of decorations, adding that she likes to go all out to have fun and make people smile.

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Heather continued: "I don't wish anybody any harm and I think people have a right to their own opinions but I've always said in life if you've got nowt good to say keep your mouth shut. It's one of my philosophies.

"I feel so humble how the community has got behind me, I could cry. It's overwhelming because I doubted myself and nearly took everything down.

"I went to a cafe [in the village] and everybody was so supportive. They said 'the decorations are great, do more'.”

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She explained that the letter was not signed, but it was written in all capitals which caused some upset. Heather explained her decor includes two mannequins dressed as monsters, a witch, a skeleton, bunting, and more.

"They may know me, but I'll never know. I'm pretty sure they've seen these messages [online], they may think it was out of turn,” Heather said. "We can all make mistakes, they're obviously having a bad day, they've got their reasons for sending that letter.

"I feel more sorry for them. If they'd come and approached me we would have had an amicable talk. I probably would have still gone ahead but I would have tried to get into their head to see what was going on."

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