Early Christmas card threats probed

It is a long-held complaint of many shoppers: Christmas appears to get earlier every year. The sight of stores decorated in tinsel and baubles, rocking to the strains of Jingle Bells in mid-August are apparently becoming all too frequent... in Yorkshire, anyway.





This week four shops in Leeds contacted the police after a group calling itself the “Movement for the Containment of Xmas” posted letters threatening attacks on their premises if they put Christmas cards on sale before 1 November. The letter says that any store-owners who fail to comply with the orders will have their door locks filled with glue – a fate that has already befallen one shop.

Clive Barker, the manager of an Oxfam shop in Headingley, said the letter was posted through his letterbox on Monday evening. “It is very odd. Every morning I wonder if I am going to be able to open up or will the lock be glued up. We are not going to take our cards down as we are a charity and we raise money for all the Oxfam projects. The cards are important for our fundraising.

“Like the rest of the High Street there are Christmas cards on display as early tasters. Four shops have been targeted and I just hope that nothing comes of it. The police say they are treating it very seriously and have taken the letter for fingerprints.”

The letter states: “This is a very polite but very serious reminder not to display Xmas cards until 1st Nov. We will put super glue into your locks if you do. Peace and goodwill.”

The lock of the door of the nearby mental health charity shop, Mind, has been glued. The manager said she was unable to unlock door on Monday morning. That afternoon a mystery man telephoned and claimed responsibility for the glue attack and said it was because the shop was selling Christmas cards “far too early”.

He said: “If we pass the shop and we see you are still selling Christmas cards we will glue the lock up until the cards are removed.” When asked why they had a problem with the cards sales, he replied: “There are a team of us that are against charity shops selling Christmas cards so early.”

The manager, who asked not to be named, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “This has made staff – mainly volunteers – feel very uneasy and we have alerted the police. We have removed our current Christmas cards sales display for the moment. This is great pity as we have been selling off last year’s stock and making £70 a week.”

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee